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^  /Mfi,.  j./o  j:^-K 


HARVARD 
COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 


THE 


WORKS 


OF 


THOMAS    SHEPARD, 


FIRST  PASTOR  Of 


THE  FIRST  CHURCH,  CAMBRIDGE,  MASS. 


WITH   A 


MEMOIR  OF  HIS  LIFE  AND  CHARACTER. 


VOL.   II. 


: BOSTON: 

DOCTRINAL   TRACT   AND    BOOK   SOCIETY. 

1853. 


t^.^^o  'I' '  r>  f^.j  (-1) 


C/3W.9.  Io^tS) 


TO  THE  READER. 


If  tboa  art  one  who  knowest  what  it  is  to  be  serious  in  the/ 
great  business  of  providing  for  eternity,  it  is  very  probable  thou] 
mayst  be  no  stranger  to  the  name  of  this  reverend  author,  nowl 
with  God,  whose  name  in  both  the  Englands  is  as  an  ointment  \ 
poured  forth ;  and  then  thou  wilt  be  eagerly  desirous  to  peruse   / 
the^e  following  Sermons,  in  tendency  to  the  further  increasing  J 
thy  jitock  of  spiritual  oil ;  and  when  thou  hast  read  thcra,  and/ 
sucked  forth  the  sweetness  and  nourishment  contained  in  them, 
and.  by  the  assistance  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  turned  them  into  good 
and  healthful  nutriment  to  thy  soul,  we  question  not  but  it  will 
enhance  the  author's  worth  in  thy  thoughts  and  estimation.    But 
ptrhaps  thou  hast  never  lighted  on  any  of  those  flowers  which 
this  holy  man  has  planted  in  God's  garden,  and  thenWFare  con-, 
fident  thou  wilt  meet  with  such  savory  sweetness  in  this  Discourse 
as  will  make  thee  wish  Christ's  church  had  longer  enjoyed  so 
<.-h()i(^  and  skillful  a  workman.!   If  thou  be  one  who  hiist  hitherto  • 
little  considered  of  God,  and  thy  soul,  and  the  concernments  of 
eternity,  or  only  now  and  then  had  some  moming-dew  thoughts 
of  that  which  deserves  and  requires  the  choicest  and  most  vigor- 
ous workings  of  thy  soul,  we  wish  thou  wouldst  so  far  comply 
with   God's  goodness  in  bringing  this  book  to  thy  hand,  and 
gratify  thyself,  —  we  mean  thy  soul,  thy  better  self,  —  as  to  read 


4  TO   THE   READER. 

over  this  treatise,  in  which  thou  wilt  meet  with  tho^e  serious  and 
soul-piercing  truths  which,  by  GU>d's  blessing,  may  be  as  poison 
to  thy  lusts,  and  awaken  thee  to  a  serious  and  hearty  engaging 
in  that  work  which  none  ever  yet  repented  of.  For  the  occasion 
of  publishing  this  piece,  we  refer  thee  to  the  larger  epistle  of 
our  reverend  brother,  and  only  add,  that  though  a  vein  of  seri- 
ous, solid,  and  hearty  piety  run  through  all  this  author's  works, 
yet  he  has  reserved  the  best  wine  till  the  last  The  Lord  help 
thee  and  us  so  to  read  and  improve  these  and  such  like  labors 
of  God's  harvestmen,  that  we  may,  with  the  wise  virgins,  have 
the  lamps  of  our  souls  trimmed  and  furnished  with  oil,  that, 
when  the  Bridegroom  shall  come,  we  may  be  ready  to  enter  with 
him  into  his  kingdom.  Which  is  and  shall  be  the  prayer  of  us 
who  are  hearty  well-wishers  to  thy  soul. 

WILLIAIlC  GREENHILL. 
EDMUND   CALAMY. 
JOHN  JACKSON. 
SIMON  ASH. 
WILLIAM  TAYLOB. 
24th  December,  1659. 


PREFACE. 


To  the  Header,  and  especially  to  the  Inhabitants  of  Cambridge, 

in  New  England, 

That  to  make  sure  of  life  eternal  is  the  one  necessary  busi- 
ness that  we  sons  of  death  have  to  do  in  this  world,  and  without 
which  all  our  time  here  is  worse  than  lost,  every  enlightened 
mind  will  easily  acknowledge;  this  present  life  being,  by  the 
rule  of  it,  appointed  but  to  this  end,  to  be  preparation  time,  spent 
in  a  continual  care  to  make  ready,  that  we  might  have  a  good 
rof^eting  with  Ilim  who  shall  be  seen  in  this  air  one  day.  And 
whether  we  look  up  to  heaven,  or  down  to  hell ;  whether  we  re- 
flect upon  our  own  immortal  souls,  or  turn  our  eyes  toward  the 
pn\ntness  and  goodness  of  that  God  in  Christ  with  whom  we 
have  to  do ;  whether  we  pace  over  the  time  between  this  and 
jud^rment  day,  or  send  our  thoughts  to  view  the  eternity  that  is 
to  follow  after,  —  all  things  put  a  necessity,  a  solemnity,  a  glory 
«j»on  this  work. 

But  difpciiia  qu<B  pulcbra.  It  is  one  of  the  oracles  uttered 
by  our  Ix)rd  with  his  own  mouth,  "  Strait  is  the  gate  and  narrow 
i>  tlic  way  that  leadeth  unto  life,  and  few  there  be  that  find  it." 
It  i'*  not  so  easy  a  thing  to  get  to  heaven,  nor  so  broad  a  way 
thither,  as  the  slight  and  loose  opinions  of  some,  and  practices  of 
more,  would  make  it,  nor  lu*  the  carnal  hearts  of  all  would  have 
it ;  though  that,  if  it  be  examined,  is  tlie  common  scope  of  all 
ernineous  conceits ;  and  how  restlessly  have  the  corrupt  minds  of 
men  liiln^re*!  therein  in  all  ages,  and  do  in  these  our  days,  to 
widen  the  way  to  life,  to  break  down  the  boundaries  of  this  nar- 
row path,  and  make  it  broader  than  ever  God  made  it !    Man's  I 

1  • 


8  PREFACE. 

and  fitting  scribes  not  easily  attainable  in  this  wilderness,  it  has 
occasioned  this  delay  hitherto.  But  we  hope  it  will  now  be 
neither  unacceptable  nor  unseasonable. 

These  Sermons  are  now  transcribed  by  industrious  and  intelli- 
gent persons,  and  have  been  carefully  reviewed  and  corrected. 
They  are  written  out  of  the  author's  own  notes,  which  he  pre- 
pared for  preaching,  (only  about  a  sheet  himself  wrote  out  in 
his  lifetime,  having  thoughts,  it  seems,  of  yielding  to  their  desires 
who  were  earnest  for  their  publishing,)  by  means  whereof,  though 
the  reader  will  often  meet  with  curtness  of  expression,  and 
though  some  lively  passages  that  were  uttered  in  preaching  may 
be  wanting,  yet  you  will  have  this  benefit,  to  have  much  in  little 
room.  It  may  also  easily  be  observed,  that  not  curiosity  of 
words,  but  weight  of  things,  was  here  studied  by  and  flowed  from 
I  the  heart  and  pen  of  the  author,  which  yet  produceth  the  best 
i  (and  truest,  i.  e.^.a  real  rhetoric.  In  sum,  although  many  imper- 
'  fections,  incident  to  such  posthumous  editions,  can  not  be  want- 
ing, yet  we  doubt  not  but  the  work  will  speak  for  itself,  to  the 
intelligent  and  serious  reader. 

^Ve  are  not  ignorant  that  there  be  some  who  somewhat  differ 
from   this  our  author  in   accommodation  of  this  parable,  and 
analysis  of  some  part  of  the  context,  referring  it  to  the  times 
about  the  expected  calling  of  the  Jews ;  and  if  so,  the  substance 
,,of  the  work  may  be  accounted  to  be  in  a  more  than  ordinary 
manner  proper  and  seasonable  for  these  times ;  but  therein  every 
'man  is  left  free  to  his  own  further  disquisitions.     Neither  is  it 
for  the  sake  of  the  bare  exposition,  much  less  chronical  accom- 
modation, of  the  text,  so  much,  that  we  publish  these  things,  (in 
that  kind  the  labors  of  others  do  abound,)  but  for  the  8])iritunl, 
practical,  lively,  soul-searching  truths  and  applications  thereof 
that  are  therein  contained  ;  the  substance  of  which  truths  the  im- 
partial reader  will  easily  acknowledge  to  be  clear,  both  from  tliis 
\and  from  other  scriptures. 

These  Sermons,  preached  by  the  author  in  a  weekly  lecture, 
were  begun  in  June,  IGSG,  and  ended  in  May,  16-10.  In  which 
time  there  was  a  leaven  of  Antinoraian  and  Familistical  opinions 


PKEFACE.  9 

Stirring  in  the  country,  as  the  world  has  already  in  print  been 
informed ;  by  occasion  whereof,  the  reader  will  meet  with  sundry 
passages  tending  to  reprove  and  refute  some  of  those  conceits, 
and  to  establish  the  contrary  truth ;  which  we  have  not  expunged,  i 
but  let  them  pass  mostly  as  we  have  found  them ;  seeing  it  is  no] 
more  than  the  world  already  knows,  that  there  were  such  things 
then  among  us ;  and  though  that  storm  be,  as  to  its  open  influence, 
comfortably  Uown  over  with  us,  yet  the  like  errors  are,  if  not 
latent  among  some  here,  spread  elsewhere  by  the  new  Ughts  of 
these  times,  whence  these  helps  against  them  are  still  needful. 
And  we  doubt  not  but  the  substance  of  the  truth  here  defended 
by  oar  author  will  stand  and  abide  the  trial.    Yea,  I  suppose  I  / 
may  freely  take  hberty  to  say,  that  among  the  many  excel-  | 
lendes  wherewith  the  Lord  endowed  this  precious  instrument  of 
his,  this  was  none  of  the  least,  that  Grod  taught  him  and  helped 
bim  to  teach  others  the  true  middle  way  of  the  gospel,  between 
the  Legalist,  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  Antinomian,  or  loose  gospcl- 
er,  on  the  other,  with  much  and  sweet  clearness,  as  was  evident 
in  the  whole  course  and  way  of  his  preaching,  and  may  in  some 
measure  appear  both  in  his  books  formerly  printed  and  in  the  . 
following  Sermons.     Other  passages,  also,  of  special  application  j 
to  this  country  and  to  those  first  times  of  it,  we  willingly  permit 
to  pajs^  the  press,  because  they  may  be  profitable  to  others  in  like 
cases  elsewhere,  and  of  special  benefit  to  the  New  English  reader. 
For  why  should  we  not  desire  and  hope  that  the  suitable,  solemn 
counsels  and  warnings  here  given  to  these  churches  by  this  seer 
in  Israel,  in  reference  to  the  main  matters  of  life  and  godliness, 
may  now  be  of  living,  awakening,  and  soul-instructing  use  to 
them  (O  that  it  may  be !)  unto  many  generations  ? 

Reader,  if  thou  comest  hither  to  carp  and  cavil,  or  to  criticise  I 
upon  each  circumstantial  imperfection,  this  work  is  not  for  thy 
turn ;  but  if  thou  bringest  with  thee  a  serious  and  humble  heart, 
desirous  to  have  thy  soul  searched  to  the  quick,  the  sores  thereof 
lanced,  thy  spiritual  work  and  way  directed,  and  the  interest  of 
thy  eternal  peace  furthered ;  if  thou  desirest  to  walk  with  Grod 
in  good  earnest,  and  escaping  all  the  snares  of  a  slight  and  slum- 


10  PREFACE. 

bering  generation,  to  stand  before  the  Son  of  man  with  comfoi*t 
in  the  day  of  his  glory,  then  mayst  thou  here  find  that  that  will 
'^  suit  thee,  and  which  thou  wilt  bless  the  Lord  for,  even  words  that 
are  as  goads  and  nails  fastened  by  this  master  of  assemblies, 
1  given  from  that  one  and  chief  Shepherd.  The  Lord  fix  and 
fasten  them  in  all  our  hearts,  that,  abiding  and  being  ingrafted 
there,  they  may  be  instrumental  to  further  our  salvation,  that 
neither  deficiency  in  the  main,  nor  slothful  security,  may  hinder 
us  from  our  desired  end ;  but  when  that  chief  Shepherd  and  that 
heavenly  Bridegroom  who  now  sends  to  us  by  so  many  servants 
and  messages  of  his,  both  in  word  and  writing,  shall  appear  him- 
self "  in  the  glory  of  his  Father  and  of  all  his  holy  angels,"  we 
also  may  "  receive  a  crown  of  glory  that  fadeth  not  away ; "  and, 
for  the  last  consummation  of  this  happy  marriage,  may  go  home 
with  him  to  his  Father's  house,  there  to  abide  in  his  rest,  in  the 
"fullness  of  his  joy,"  and  drink  down  his  "pleasures  forever-r 
more." 

And  you  that  sometimes  were  the  flock  of  this  shepherd,  and 
have  heard  these  things  from  the  lively  voice  of  this  soul-melting 
preacher,  whom  you  never  can  forget,  let  it  be  a  welcome  provi- 
dence to  have  these  truths  thus  revived  to  you  and  put  into  your 
hands,  that  he  who  is  dead  may  yet  speak  to  you  and  yours.  Gret 
them  into  your  houses  to  read,  nay,  into  your  hearts  to  feed  upon, 
as  a  choice  and  precious  treasure.  And  let  them  still  be  a  living 
and  continual  warning  to  you  to  watch  and  keep  alive  the  power 
of  godliness,  the  daily  practice  of  working  "  out  your  salvation 
with  fear  and  trembling,"  the  love  of  the  truth,  the  hatred  of 
every  false  way,  the  esteem  and  improvement  of  God's  ordi- 
nances, and  the  true,  humble,  heavenly  life  of  faith  in  Christ 

Jesus. 

JONATHAN  MITCHELL. 

Camdridoe,  New  England, 
December,  1659. 


I 


CONTENTS 


TO 


VOLUME    II. 


PART  I. 

CHAP.  Pa  OB. 

I.    General  Scope  of  the  Parable, 13-16 

II.    The  Visible  Church, 16-23 

m.    The  Coming  of  Christ  and  the  Security  of  Professors,        24-26 
IV.    The  Soul  that  will  enjoy  Communion  with  Christ  must 
be  divorced  from  all  other  Lords,  particularly  from 
Lusts  and  from  the  Law.    The  Manner  of  its  Espou- 
sals unto  Christ, 26-^ 

V.    The  Marks  and  Signs  whereby  the  Soul  may  know 
whether  he  be  in  League  or  Love  with  any  Lust  or 

Creature,  or  married  to  the  Law, 33-41 

VI.     Motives  and  Arguments  to  persuade  us  into  the  Love 

of  Christ,  and  to  be  csjwused  to  him, 41-50 

VII.    All  Power  for  Spiritual  Work  from  Christ, 50-68 

VI II.    Christian's   Duty  of  being  constantly  ready  to  meet 

Christ,  and  to  enjoy  Communion  with  him,  ....        68-77 

IX.    A  fourfold  Exhortation  to  Believers, 77-110 

X.     The  Soul's  immediate  Closing  with  the  Person  of  Christ, 

as  the  proper  Object  of  saving  Faith, 111-143 

XI.    True  Believers  do  with  Hope  expect  the  Second  Com- 
ing of  Christ,     143-159 

XIL    Believers  do  long  and  desire  for  the  Appearance  and 

Second  Coming  of  Christ, 159-182 

i  XIII.    There  are  Hypocrites  in  the  best  and  purest  Churches,     183-191 

XIV.    A  Discovery  of  Gospel  Hypocrites, 191-206 

XV.    There  is  a  vast  Difference  between  a  Sincere  Christian 

and  the  Closest  Hypocrite, 206-229 

XVI.     The  Hypocri.*»y  of  the  Heart  proceeds  from  a  Want  of 

saving  Illumination  in  the  Understanding,   ....    229-237 
XVII.    Hypocrites  discover  themselves  in  an  ineffectual  Use  of 

tlic  Means  of  Grace, 238-260 

XVIII.  The  Hearts  and  Souls  of  Believers  are  made  as  Vessels 
only  for  the  Reception  of  Christ,  his  Spirit,  and  the 
Graces  thereof, 261-268 


12  "  CONTENTS. 

XIX.    The  Holy  Spirit  is  in  Believers  as  the  Principle  of  their 

Spiritual  Life  and  Holiness, 268-295 

XX.  There  is  such  a  Fallncss  or  Measure  of  Grace  in  the 
Heart  of  Believers,  which  the  most  refined  Hypocrites 
never  arise  onto, 295-^02 

XXL  A  more  extended  Account  of  that  Fullness  of  Grace 
that  is  in  Believers,  and  how  the  most  glorious  Hypo- 
crites come  short  of  it, .    302-351 

XXn.    True  Saving  Grace  in  the  Hearts  of  Believers  can  never 

faU, 351-369 

PART  II. 

I.  Carnal  Security  in  Yii^gin  Churches, 370-384 

II.  Carnal  Security  comes  by  Degrees, 384-391 

III.  Security  the  last  Sin  of  Good  and  Bad, 391-402 

IV.  Christ's  Absence  the  Cause  of  Security  in  his  Churches,  403-409 1^ 
V.  Christ's  Awakening  Cry  before  his  Coming,     ....  409-416 

VL    The  Certainty  of  Christ's  Coming, 416-423 

YII.    God's  Compassion  towards  Wise  and  Foolish  Virgins,    423-429 
Vm.    Christ's  Coming  and  his  awaking  Sleeping  Christians,    430-437 
IX.    Christians  trimming  their  Lamps,  and  Holiness  the 

Christian's  Glory, 437^50 

X    Counterfeit  Grace  is  not  lasting, 451-457 

XI.    Unregenerate  Persons  may  have  a  Sense  of  their  Want 

of  Grace, 458-465 

XII.    The  Desire  of  Grace  that  may  be  in  Hypocrites,      .    .    465-472 
XIIL    The  Desires  and  Endeavors  of  Hypocrites  after  Grace 

are  not  lasting, 472-485 

XIY.  The  Grace  of  one  Person  will  not  advantage  another 
that  wants  Grace  himself,  and  the  best  Christians  can 

not  dispense  Grace  to  those  that  want  it, 485-494 

|N)S[V.    The  plentiful  Dispensing  of  Grace  in  the  Gospel  Min- 
istry,         494-507 

XVI.    Concerning  Christ's  Coming, 507-514 

XVn.    Christ's  Coming  as  a  Bridegroom  to  his  own,  ....    514-526 
XVni.    Christ  will  not  tarry  when  once  his.  Time  is  come,  and 
the  Folly  of  such  whose  Work  is  then  to  do ;  and  the 
Blessedness  of  Saints  consists  in  immediate  Com- 
munion with  Christ, 526-549 

TCnc.    None  shall  enjoy  Christ  hereafter,  but  those  that  are 

prepared  here, 549-635 


THB 


PAKABLE  OF  THE  TEN  VIRQINS 


UNFOLDED. 


CHAPTEB   L 

Vatt.  XX  f.  1—13.  '^Umii  riiall  tbe  kingdera  of  haavm  be  ISkaaed  onto  tea  virgini, 
vhich  look  their  laai|Mi  and  went  forth  to  meet  the  bridecroom.  And  five  of  th«n  were 
wiae  and  fire  wef«  foMUb.  Thn  that  were  fooUah  took  toeir  Jampa  and  took  no  oil  with 
Ibrm.  Bat  the  wine  took  oil  in  their  veeeeb  with  their  lampe.  While  the  bridefroom  tar- 
iMd,  they  all  alumbefed  and  alepc  And  at  midni|d)t  there  waa  a  cry  nuule,  Behold  the 
bnilefruom  cometh  :  f(o  ye  out  to  meet  him.  Tlien  all  ihoae  virgios  arose  and  trimmed 
Ihrir  lamp*.  And  the  fooli«h  said  unto  the  wise,  GHve  u«  of  srour  oil,  ibr  our  lampa  are 
fuo«  ouL  But  the  wise  anawered,  saying  Not  to,  leet  there  be  not  enou([h  for  us  and  you ; 
iMt  eu  ye  rather  to  them  that  sell,  and  buy  for  younelvee.  And  while  they  went  to  buy, 
the  bndegrrxMn  came,  and  they  that  were  readv  went  in  with  him  to  the  marriage,  and  the 
4oor  waa  abuL  Afterward  came  aleo  the  other  Tirgina,  saying,  Lord,  Lord,  open  to  us. 
Bat  be  answered  and  said.  Verily  I  say  unto  y^,  I  know  you  not  Watch,  therefore,  for 
ye  know  neither  the  day  aor  the  hoar  whereul  the  Boa  of  man  GomeUi." 


Section  I. 

These  words  are  part  of  our  Saviour's  answer  unto  two  solemn 
questions  which  his  disciples  propounded  unto  him,  chi^K  xxiv.  3. 
The  first  was  concerning  the  destruction  of  the  temple  at  Jeru- 
salem ;  the  second,  concerning  the  sign  of  his  coming,  and  so  of 
the  end  of  the  world.  The  first  seems  to  be  occasioned  by  our 
Saviour's  speech,  chap.  xxiv.  2 ;  the  second,  from  his  speech,  chap, 
xxiii.  39.  To  the  first,  therefore,  he  answers,  from  the  4th  verse 
of  the  twentj-fourth  chapter  to  the  23d  verse  of  it  To  the 
second,  he  answereth  from  the  23d  verse  of  the  same  chapter  to 
the  end  of  this  twenty-fiflh  chapter.    Wherein  ho  acquaints  them, 

1.  With  some  things  which  shall  be  before  his  coming,  viz., 
subtle  and  strong  delusions,  mixed  with  sore  tribulations  and 
opfiressions,  especially  in  the  time  of  Antichrist's  reign,  as  also 
great  confusions  in  all  hearts  and  churches,  if  not  throughout  all 
the  world,  afler  the  tribulation  of  those  days ;  and  then,  saith 
he,  verse  30,  *'  shall  appear  the  sign  of  the  Son  of  man,"  and 
he  shall  be  seen  ^  coming  in  power  and  great  glory ;  '*  but  if 
joa  desire  further  to  know  the  day  and  hour  when  tliis  shall  be, 
TOL.  n.  2 


14  THE    PARABLE    OF 

it  is  such  a  secret  as  my  Father  revealeth  not  to  any,  no,  not  to 
the  very  angels  in  heaven,  and  therefore  you  need  not  know  it, 
nor  yet  should  seek  to  know  it ;  it  is  sufficient  for  you  to  know 
that,  before  my  coming,  there  shall  be  lamentable  and  sad  times, 
and  that  when  they  are  at  their  worst,  that  the  sun  and  the  moon, 
through  the  horrors  of  men's  hearts,  and  the  universal  confu- 
sions in  the  world,  shall  seem  to  be  darkened,  &c.,  that  then  it 
is  time  for  me  to  come  and  set  all  in  order  again,  then  the  time 
of  my  coming  draws  nigh ;  now,  this  Christ  doth,  from  verse  23 
of  the  twenty-fourth  chapter  to  verse  37. 

2.  Having  thus  spoken  concerning  his  coming,  he  breaks  off 
his  speech  in  describing  his  coming,  and  falls  to  discovering  the 
state  of  the  times  towards  and  about  the  days  of  liis  coming,  and 
this  he  doth  from  chap.  xxiv.  37  to  chap.  xxv.  31,  by  the  con- 
sideration of  which  he  persuades  to  watchfulness  against  his 
coming.  1.  Either,  saith  he,  the  times  will  be  very  sensual  and 
degenerate,  as  in  the  days  of  Noah,  in  some  places  of  the  world, 
chap.  xxiv.  38,  which  he  illustrates  from  two  parables,  persuading 
therefore  to  watchfulness,  to  the  end  of  chap.  xxiv.  2.  Or  there 
will  be  great  security  in  other  places,  and  among  other  persons, 
not  given  up  to  sensuality  as  in  the  days  of  Noah,  but  who  are 
the  chaste,  virgin,  pure  churches  of  the  world,  not  defiled  with 
the  whoredoms  in  the  world ;  and  this  our  Saviour  unfolds  in  this 
parable.  3.  Or  if  any  be  awakened,  as  some  shall,  to  look  for 
Christ's  coming,  yet  among  these,  some  through  hard  conceits 
of  the  Lord  Jesus  shall  be  willfully  careless  and  not  improve 
their  talents  for  the  sake  and  use  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  and  this 
is  set  down  in  the  next  parable  of  the  ten  talents,  from  verse 
14  to  verse  31.  You  see,  therefore,  where  this  parable  stands, 
and  to  what  purpose  it  is  brought  in.     In  which  are  two  things. 

Section  II. 

1.  The  parable  itself,  concerning  the  Ten  Virgins,  from  verse 
1  to  verse  13. 

2.  The  scope  of  the  parable,  verse  13,  which  is  to  persuade 
not  simply  to  watchfulness,  but  to  continuance  and  perseverance 
in  it  from  a  prudent  foresight  of  the  coming  of  Christ. 

1.  The  parable  itself  is  set  down  agreeable  to  the  custom  of 
those  times  wherein  our  Saviour  lived,  wherein  their  marriages 
were  usually  celebrated  in  the  night  time ;  she  that  was  the 
bride  was  attended  with  sundry  virgins  to  meet  the  bridegroom ; 
these  virgins,  it  being  the  night  season,  took  therefore  their  lamps 
with  them ;  those  that  were  ready,  and  met  the  bridegroom,  were 


THE   TEX   VIRGINS.  15 

ad[nitte<l  to  the  marriage  room  and  supper;  those  that  came 
alter  that  time,  if  once  the  doors  were  shut,  were  surely  kept  out 
though  they  knocked  hard  to  come  in.  All  this,  those  who  are 
acquxiinted  with  Jewish  histories  and  customs  know  to  be  true, 
which  we  are  to  attend,  because  it  gives,  not  a  little  light  to  the 
true  and  genuine  explication  of  this  parable. 
In  which  parable  note  these  two  parts. 

1.  The  church's  preparation  to  meet  with  Christ,  called  here 
the  bridegroom,  from  the  1st  to  the  5th  verse. 

2.  The  bridegroom's  coming  forth  to  meet  them,  from  the  5th 
to  the  12th  verse. 

Section  III. 

The  First  Part  of  the  ParaUe. 

First,  I  shall  speak  of  the  preparation  made  bj  the  church  to 
meet  with  Christ  Jesus.     Wlierein  also  note  these  three  things. 

1.  The  place  where  this  preparation  is  made,  viz. :  in  "  the 
klngflom  of  heaven,"  verse  1. 

2.  The  time  when  it  shall  be  made,  set  down  in  the  first  word, 
**Then,"  verse  1. 

3.  The  persons  that  shall  make  this  preparation ;  they  shall  not 
l»e  corrupted  members  of  degenerate  churches,  w^here  men's  j)ro- 
fession  is  grown  foul  through  length  of  wearing ;  but  they  are 
professors  of  some  eminent  strain,  some  whereof  are  truly  sin- 
cere, otliers  secretly  unsound ;  and  there  is  a  double  description 
of  them.  1.  From  some  things  wherein  they  all  agree.  2.  From 
fome  other  particulars  wherein  they  manifestly  differ. 

Firsts  Those  things  wherein  they  all  agree  are  three. 

1.  They  are  all  virgins;  virgin  professors. 

2.  They  were  all  awake  and  watchful  for  some  time,  ready  to 
ro»*et  the  bridegroom ;  and  hence  it  is  said,  "  They  took  their 
Limps." 

3.  Tliey  all  had  so  much  faith  as  to  go  out  to  meet  the  bride- 
groom. 

Secondly^  Those  things  wherein  they  did  differ  are, — 

1.  Generally,  ^^^\q  were  wise"  and  "five  were  foolish,"  verse  2. 

2.  Specially,  the  foolish  took  lamps,  but  no  oil ;  the  wise  did 
botli,  verses  3,  4. 

This  is  the  rude  draught  of  the  first  part  of  the  parable,  the 
ffum  when^of  is  this:  that  the  state  of  the  members  of  some 
churches,  about  the  time  of  Christ's  coming,  shall  be  this  —  that 


16  .  THE   PARABLE   OP 

thej  shall  not  be  openly  profane,  corrupt,  and  scandalous,  but 
virgin  professors,  awakened  for  some  season  out  of  carnal  se- 
curity; stirring,  lively  Christians,  not  preserving  their  chastity 
and  purity  merely  in  a  way  of  works,  but  waiting  for  Christ  in 
a  covenant  of  grace ;  only  some  of  these,  and  a  good  part  of 
these,  shall  be  indeed  wise,  stored  with  spiritual  wisdom,  filled 
with  the  power  of  grace ;  but  others  of  them,  and  a  great  part 
of  them  too,  shall  be  found  foolish  at  the  coming  of  the  Lord 
Jesus. 

I  come,  therefore,  to  handle  the  first  particular  in  this  part, 
viz., — 


CHAPTER  IL 
op  the  visible  church  op  god. 

Section  L 

1.  The  place  where  this  preparation  to  meet  Christ  shall  be 
made,  and  that  is  not  in  the  kingdoms  of  this  world,  (earthly 
kingdoms,)  but  in  the  kingdom  of  heavep ;  and  therefore  it  is 
said,  '*  The  kingdom  of  heaven  shall  be  like,"  etc 

I  will  not  trouble  you  with  telling  you  how  many  ways  the 
kingdom  of  heaven  is  taken  in  Scripture :  by  kingdom  of  heaven, 
here,  is  not  meant  the  kingdom  of  glory  in  the  third  heaven,  for 
there  shall  be  no  foolish  virgins  at  all  there ;  no  unclean  thing 
shall  enter  thither ;  nor  by  it  is  meant  the  head  of  this  kingdom, 
viz.,  Christ  Jesus,  for  how  can  he  be  like  to  ten  virgins  ?  nor 
by  it  is  meant  the  gospel  of  the  kingdom  which  (Matt,  xiii.)  is 
called  the  "  kingdom  of  heaven,"  and  compared  to  a  draw  net, 
for  how  can  it  be  like  unto  ten  virgins  ?  nor  yet  the  internal 
kingdom  of  grace  kept  up  in  the  heart  of  every  believer,  which 
is  called  a  grain  of  mustaxd  seed,  (Matt  xiii.,)  for  how  can  any 
foolish  virgins  be  there?  or  what  share  have  they  in  that? 
Therefore,  I  conceive,  it  is  clear  that  by  the  kingdom  of  heaven, 
here,  is  meant  the  external  kingdom  of  Christ  in  this  world ; 
that  is,  the  visible  church,  or  the  estate  of  the  visible  church, 
which  is  frequently  called  in  Scripture  "  the  kingdom  of  heaven," 
as  Matt.  viii.  12,  and  xxi.  43.  In  which  kingdom  some  are  wise, 
some  foolish ;  all  profess  Christ,  look  for  the  coming  of  Christ, 
for  salvation  from  Christ.  The  estate  of  this  visible  church  shall 
be  like  ten  virgins. 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  •  17 


Section  II. 

And  hence  I  shall  note  this  one  thing. 

Doctrine  1.  That  the  visible  church  of  God  on  earth,  especially 
in  the  times  of  the  gospel,  is  the  kingdom  of  heaven  upon  earth. 

For  look  upon  tlie  face  of  the  whole  earth ;  there  you  may  see 
the  kingdoms  of  men,  and  the  kingdom  of  Satan,  sin,  and  death, 
which  the  apostle  saith  (Rom.  v.)  reigneth  over  all  men ;  here  is 
only  the  kingdom  of  heaven  upon  earth,  viz.,  in  the  visible  church. 
It  is  not  the  place  only  which  makes  either  heaven  or  hell,  though 
there  is  a  place  for  both,  but  the  state  principally  makes  both. 
One  may  be  in  hell  upon  earth,  as  Christ  was  in  his  bitter  agony ; 
and  a  man  may  be  in  a  kind  of  heaven  upon  earth,  as  Christ  tells 
hi>  hearers  that  "  the  kingdom  of  heaven  was  at  hand ; "  a  man 
may  \ye  under  the  kingdom  of  Satan  and  darkness  upon  earth, 
(C'ul.  i.  13.)  which  is  a  kind  of  hell ;  and  why  not  as  well  under 
the  kingdom  of  Gknl  on  earth,  which  is  a  kind  of  heaven  ?  espe- 
ci:illy.  I  say,  now  under  tlie  gospel,  wherein  the  Lord  hath  begun 
to  fulfill  tliat  wliicli  wjis  but  only  promised  under  the  Old  Testa- 
ment tu  be  fulfilled  in  the  fourth  and  last  monarchy  (Dan.  ii.  44) 
in  the  time  of  the  New  ;  in  the  state  of  Christ's  visible  church, 
which  should,  by  little  and  little,  beat  down  all  other  kingdoms 
of  the  world. 

Section  III. 

Reason  1.  Because  the  same  King  that  is  reigning  in  heaven  is 
reigning  here,  is  present  here,  (Ps.  ii.  6 ;)  and  here  the  saints  are 
oommaiKled  to  rejoice,  to  shout,  and  to  be  glad  with  all  their  hearts, 
iMM'ause  of  the  pn^sence  of  this  their  King  among  them.  Zeph.  iii. 
14,  1.').  It  is  truf,  indeed,  he  is  King  over  all  the  world.  The  im- 
mediate execution  of  all  Gcxl's  common,  as  well  as  special,  provi- 
d«'iu?«*  is  put  into  the  hand  of  this  King,  the  Lord  Jesus,  liut  as 
for  his  enemies,  and  other  creatures,  he  reigns  over  them  as  a 
Kin;;  of  pf>wer,  but  he  reigns  not  for  them  also  as  a  King  of  grace 
and  lo\T ;  for  thus  he  reigns  among  his  people  in  his  church.  Deut. 
xxxiii.  2<),  27.  The  Lord  is  present  with  every  one  of  his  peo- 
ple severally,  but  much  more  jointly  when  two  or  three  of  them 
are  met  together  in  his  name. 

Reason  2.  IJecAuse  here  are  the  laws  of  heaven.  Ileb.  xii.  25. 
Take  heed — speaking  of  the  ministry  of  the  gospel  in  the 
churches  —  that  you  refuse  not  to  hear  Him  who  speaketh  from 
heaven,  which  laws  are  not  only  here  promulgated,  (as  they 
Ik*  among  the  enemies  of  this  kingdom,)  but  accepted  and  re- 
o  iv«rd  aLv>,  without  which  laws  what  kingdom  could  there  be  ? 

2* 


18  THE   PABABLE   or 

Cbiist'a  kingdom  in  this  world  is  neither  tyrnnnical  nor  arbitrary 
to  goTerii  witljout^  law.  No,  no ;  but  if  he  be  our  King,  he  ia 
our  Lawgiver  alao.  "ETix^iii.  22.  Nay,  the  same  laws  by  which 
we  shall  )>e  ruled  in  heaven  we  have  here,  and  we  are  now  un- 
der ;  that,  118  our  divines  say  against  the  Papists,  though  before 
Moses"  time  there  was  not  tcriptjsjieil/it  jet  there  was  verbuTa 
tcriprum,  which  the  piitriarclishad  before  the  flood,  and  after- 
wa«l"uiitil  Moses'  time ;  so  I  say  here,  though  iu  heaven  the 
external  letter  and  sc'ription  botli  of  law  and  gospel  shall  be 
abolished,  because  they  need  lliem  not  when  the  day  star  is 
risen,  (2  Pet  i.  19,)  yel  the  living  rules  of  bolli,  for  substance, 
shall  remain  ;  the  end  of  the  mbistry  is  to  bring  us  to  the  unity 
of  faith  in  a  perfect  estate.  Eph.  iv.  13.  Therefore  faith  shnU 
not  cease  when  ministers  shall,  and  that  perfect  man  shall  come. 
Our  faith,  indeed,  shall  not  then,  by  such  glasses,  see  Christ,  nor 
adhere  unto  Christ  by  such  means  of  promises  snd  ordinances 
as  we  do  now;  but,  without  them,  we  shall  both  see  and  forever 
adhere  to  Him  who  is  our  King  at  that  day ;  and  though,  indeed, 
the  law  is  now  abolished  as  a  covenant^of  life,  yet  it  shall  ever 
remaio  aa  a  rulejif  life.  Perfect  subjection  to  it  is  the  happi- 
ness of  saints  in  heaven,  (1  John  i.,)  as  a  heart  contrary  to  it  is 
the  greatest  misery  of  the  saints  on  earth.  Rom.  vii.  24. 

lieaion  3.  Because  here  are  tlie  subjects  of  heaven.  Eph.  ii. 
19.  Fellow-citizens  of  the  saints,  noi  only  on  earth,  but,  as 
Paul  speaketh,  (Philip,  iii.  20,)  "  Our  conversation  (or,  as  it  may 
be  rendered,  our  ixna  burges&dlup)  is  in  heaven."  God  himself 
hath  canonized  all  the  true  members  of  visible  churches  with 
the  name  of  saints  throughout  the  whole  New  Testament ;  here 
are  the  great  heirs  of  heaven ;  nay,  possessors  of  heaven  by 
faith,  as  others  are  by  feeling,  as  near  and  dear  to  (lod,  in  some 
respect,  aa  those  that  be  in  heaven  already ;  because  the  same 
motive  which  makes  him  love  them  makes  him  love  those,  though 
poor  abjecls  and  outcasts  of  the  world.  There  is  but  a  paper 
wall  of  their  bodies  between  them  and  heaven,  only  here  is  the 
difference  —  they  there  are  subjects  in  their  own  country ;  these 
here  arc  the  same  countrymen,  only  strangers  for  a  lime  here 
upon  earth.  Some  deline  a  kingdom  to  be  dominatJi*  regit  %n 
popalam  su^ectuia.  If  Christ,  the  King,  was  present,  and  his 
laws  published,  but  there  were  no  people  to  be  subject  to  him, 
there  could  be  no  kingdom;  but  when  the_^ing,  l^ur^,  and  sub- 
jects of  heaven  are  here  met  togetlicr  iu  the  visible  church,  Ewe 
is  now  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 

Reaton  4.  Because  here  is  the  very  glory  of  heaven  begun, 
that  look  as  the  same  sun  which  fills  ihe  Man  with  gloty  %  tba 


THE  TEN   VmOINS.  19 

▼eij  same  beams  touch  the  earth  also,  so  the  same  gloiy  which 
shioes  io  heaven  shmes  into  the  poor  church  here.  1  Pet.  v.  10. 
God  hath  called  his  people  into  his  eternal  glory.  And  (Rom. 
TiiL  30)  «  Whom  Christ  hath  justified,  them  he  hath  glorified ; " 
L  e.,  he  hath  begun  it  here ;  here,  in  a  special  manner,  is  the 
presence  of  the  angels  in  heaven.  Eph.  iii.  10.  Here  the  pure 
ID  heart  see  Grod,  and  that  after  another  manner  than  many  times 
thej  can  in  their  solitary  condition.  Ps.  Ixiii.  1,  2, 3.  And  what 
» this  but  heaven  ? 

Section  IV. 

Use  1.  See,  therefore,  hence  their  happiness  and  honor  whom 
God  hath  called  oat'  of  the  world,  and  planted  in  his  church. 
What  hath  the  Lord  done,  but  opened  the  way  to  the  tree  of  life, 
and  let  you  into  paradise  again  ?  Nay,  which  is  more,  what  hath 
he  done  but  taken  you  up  into  the  very  kingdom  of  heaven  itself, 
where  you  have  the  Lord  of  glory  to  be  your  King,  the  laws  of 
heaven  made  known ;  his  heart  opened,  where  you  have  the 
heirs  of  heaven  your  companions,  and  the  angels  of  heaven  your 
guard,  desiring  to  look  into  those  things  which  your  eyes  see  and 
your  hearts  feel.  1  Pet.  i.  12.  Where  you  have  the  love  of  a 
Father  appearing,  the  Son  of  God  inhabiting,  and  the  Spirit  of 
heaven  comforting.  ^'  Lord,  what  is  man,  that  thou  art  thus 
mindful  of  him !  "  That  when  the  Lord  seeth  it  unmeet  to  take 
you  out  of  this  world  up  into  heaven,  that  heaven  should  come 
down  into  this  world  unto  you,  who  were  once  enemies  to  this  king-  . 
dom,  shut  up  under  the  kingdom  of  death  and  darkness,  strangers 
to  the  commonwealth  of  Israel,  without  Gk)d  and  Christ  in  the 
world,  without  promise,  without  hope.  I  do  not  cry  the  temple 
of  the  Lord,  nor  idolize  order  and  churches ;  but  I  tell  you  what 
your  privilege  is,  and  thereby  what  Gkni's  goodness  is.  I  know 
the  world  neither  seeth  nor  feeleth  any  such  heaven  on  earth, 
but  soon  grow  despisers  secretly  of  all  ordinances,  who,  if  they  * 
were  in  heaven  itself,  with  their  carnal  hearts,  they  would  not 
abide  there  with  much  contentment ;  yet,  verily,  heaven  hath 
been  and  is  found  here  by  God's  hidden  ones,  even  such  things 
which  eye  hath  not  seen  nor  ear  heard;  and  if  it  be  not  thus 
with  thee,  blame  thyself,  and  mourn  the  more,  who,  in  the  midst 
of  light,  art  in  utter  darkness ;  and  in  the  place  where  heaven  is 
begun  to  some,  it  should  be  made  a  little  hell  to  thee. 

Use  2.  Take  heed  of  defiling  secretly  the  church  of  God.  For 
what  do  you  thereby  but  jwUute  the  kingdom  of  heaven  itself? 
and  the  better  any  thing  is,  the  greater  is  the  defilement  cast  upon 
it.     It  is  said  (1  PeL  i.  4)  that  the  kingdom  of  heaven  above 


ia  "an  inlieritanee  undefiled."'  never  yet  the  subjecl-plnce 
wbi^rc  luiy  sin  van  committed,  and  this  fa  one  port  of  the  glory 
of  it.  Take  you  heed  of  coming  into  church  fellowship  with 
defiled  hearts,  and  so  defiling  God's  holy  things  ;  for  do  you 
know  where  you  are?  I  know  it  is  not  in  that  heaven  wliere 
you  can  not  sin,  but  yet  it  ia  in  such  a  heaven  where  you  should 
not  sin,  much  less  defile  the  church  of  God.  It  was  one  of  God's 
heavy  indictmenta  against  the  church  of  the  Jews,  that  when 
the  Lord  had  brought  them  out  of  a  lund  of  pil^  into  a  plentiful 
cooniry,  yet  they  defiled  his  land ;  neither  priests  nor  people  said, 
"Where  is  the  Lord?"  Jer.  ii.  6,  8.  It  will  be  mneli  more 
heavy  another  day  with  you  that,  walking  in  the  feUowship  of 
God's  people,  ehall  be  found  guilty  of  defiling  the  kingdom  of 
heaven  itself,  which  you  should  be  careful  to  keep  as  au  un- 
defiled  inheritance,  which  defilements,  whether  spiritual  or  sen- 
8uai<  M  ihey  tdain  the  very  glory  of  heaven  itself,  so  ihey  keep 
you  from  feeling  the  truth  of  tliis  doctrine,  even  of  this  heaven 
u]K)n  earth  in  your  own  experience. 

Uk  3.  Let  all  members  of  churches  hence  learn  to  have  their 
conversation  in  heaven,  and  walk  as  men  come  down  from  heaven 
and  returning  Uiither  again ;  and  that  as  it  were  already  in  heaven. 
Pan)  did  thus,  and  wept  to  see  so  many  that  did  not  thus,  but 
did  "  mind  earthly  things."  Philip,  iii.  19,  20.  Do  not  only  for- 
sake, but  even  "  forget  your  countjy,  and  your  father's  hrjuse ;  bo 
shall  the  King  of  glory  desire  your  beauty."  Ps.  xlv,  10,  1 1. 
Let  the  reproach  of  eoi'thly  mtndedncss,  cast  upon  the  face  of 
Christians,  be  wiped  off  by  yoiir  carriage  being  heavenly,  holy, 
loosened  from  things  below.  Art  thou  in  heaven  with  an  earthly 
heart?  Is  not  heaven  good  enough  for  thee?  Can  not  ihat  eon- 
tent  thee  wliich  many  have  desired  to  see,  and  could  nut  i^ee^ 
even  the  I^ord  Jesus,  the  King  of  glory  in  hia  beuuly,  in  tho 
assemblies  of  his  saints? 

Cm  4.  Take  heed  of  pulling  down  this  kingdom.  Loyal  eub- 
jncts  will  rather  lose  their  lives  than  their  prinee  shall  lose  Lis 
kingdom.  Fear  not  enemies  without,  but  youreelves  at  home. 
The  enemies  of  the  church  did  never  yet  hurt  the  church,  but 
the  church's  sins.  Zech.  vii.  4.  O,  consider  what  mercy  the 
Lord  hath  betrusted  us  withal,  iliat  unless  the  Lord  should  carry 
us  to  heaven  itself,  immediately  on  the  wings  of  angcia,  he  can 
show  us  no  greater  outward  favor,  in. this  world,  than  to  bring 
us  into  this  his  kingdom  of  heaven  on  earth.     I  profess  one 


THE  TSN   VIBOINS.  21 

dtj'g  fellowship  here  with  a  number  of  broken-hearted  Christians, 
eitlMr  moiiming  together  or  rejoicing  in  their  Grod  and  King 
,  together,  it  on^ids  the  many  years'  glory  of  the  whole  world, 
liowBoeTer  it  is  hidden  from  the  world.  And  will  you  betray 
tUs  kingdom? 

Section  V. 

Quest,  What  are  those  things  that  may  pull  down  this  king- 
dom? 

Am,  1.  Ifiggranee  of  thoa^  sins  which  may  hurt  and  ruin  it. 

Iliere  are  o^unon  infirmities  which  all  the  faithful  have  in 

eommon,  for  the  liOrd  pities  his ;  but  there  are  some  that  are 

proper  and  personal  to  some  particular  persons,  (Ps.  xviii.  23,) 

for  which  the  Lord  is  even  angry  with  his  own ;  so  there  are 

some  sins  which  are  common  church  infirmities,  for  which  the 

Lord  will  not  cast  off  his  people ;  but  there  are  sometimes  in 

sereral  churches  proper  church  sins.     Now,  the  rule  here  is,  if 

these  be  not  seen,  and  lamented,  and  removed;  if  the  Lord  be 

angry  for  these,  as  verily  he  will,  and  yet  they  do  not  so  much 

as  know  all  this  while  what  it  is  that  hurts  them,  these  sins 

will  canker  the  roots,  and  bl|^  the  most  flourishing  churches. 

Ephesus  (Rev.  i.  4)  had  her  sin;  Sardis  (Rev.  ii.  1)  had  her 

sin;  Laodicea  had  her  sins.    Rev.  iii.  16.     Now,  what  if  they 

never  know  these,  nor  repent  of  these ;  you  know  then  Ephesus' 

candlestick  must  be  removed,  and  Laodicea  must  be  spued  out 

of  Christ's  mouth.     O,  this  hath  been  the  bane  of  churches, 

while  they  enjoyed  their  liberties,  they  could  not  —  nay,  in  truth 

would   not  —  know  their  all  in  the   day  of  Christ'^  visitation 

of  them,  and  hence  came  their  ruin,  the  cause  of  which  they 

saw  not ;  only  it  may  be,  the  remnant  that  escaped,  to  whom  the 

Lord  showed  mercy,  could  read  their  sins  in  their  plagues.     It 

is  a  lamentable  spectacle  to  behold  the  ruins  of  Germany,  and 

that,  after  such  great  slaughter  and  effusion  of  blood,  they  can 

not  tell  the  thing  that  hath  hurt  and  doth  still  waste  them. 

2.  Selfrseekiogf  a  spirit  of  self.  Look  as  it  is  in  a  kingdom, 
if  there  be  a  common  enemy,  and  the  body  of  the  army  should 
encounter  with  them,  be  every  man  taken  up,  and  taking  thought 
how  he  may  preserve  his  own  tent,  and  do  not  join  their  forces 
together  for  common  safety,  it  must  perish,  and  the  kingdom  will 
be  easily  conquered ;  or,  as  it  is  with  the  body,  if  every  member 
seeks  to  preserve  itself  alone,  and  not  that  which  preserves  them 
all,  (viz«,  the  head,)  the  body  will  drop  down  and  die  shortly. 
Christ  Jesus  is  at  the  head  of  this  body — his  church.  Now,  it  is 
certain,  if  ye  seek  to  preserve  your  own  name  more  than  Christ's, 


22  TOE   PAItABLE   OP 

to  giye  more  content  to  your  own  lusts  thnn  lo  the  will  and  heart 
of  Christ !  if  more  careful  of  fetching  feaihei-a  to  your  own  neslfi, 
and  to  shift  for  youraelves,  and  not  to  attend,  every  man  in  his 
place,  the  public  good  of  the  church,  and  Christ  in  it ;  it  h  cer- 
tain God  will  forsake  you,  and  all  will  to  ruin  quickly-   2  Chroa. 

JY.   1,  2/ 

Church  memhers  of  public  spirits  are  ever  prosperous  men. 

"They  shall  prosper  that  love  thee,"  (Ps.  cixii.  G  ;)  that  say  in 

Ibeir  hearts,  out  of  sense  of  Christ's  love.  Lord,  what  shall  I  do 

for  tliee  ?    How  may  I  be  useful  to  thy  people  ?    But  if  back 

V  and  belly,  mine  and  thine,  be  chief  in  request,  thig  will  ruin 

3.  League  and  amity  with  the  enemies  of  Christ's  kingdom, 
or  peace  with  our  lusts.  It  is  not  sin,  bnl  a  privy  pence  witli 
sin,  and  a  secret  quietness  in  sin,  which  overtbrowB  Christ's  king- 
dom. The  Canaaniles  that  were  left  alive,  because,  it  is  said, 
they  eould  not  drive  them  out  —  how  often  did  they  vex,  and 
prick,  and  yoke  the  Israel  of  God  !  Those  sins  which,  you  say, 
you  can  not  part  with,  and  hence  yield  lo  them,  and  mourn  not 
under  them  —  those  will  ruin  ebiirchea.  Some  sins  yon  have 
forsaken  and  could  forsake  i  the  danger  lies  not  here  —  wrath 
goeth  out  against  Jchosapliat,  because  he  loved  him  who  hated 
the  Lord.    '2  Chron.  six.  2. 

4.  When  the  church  hiys  by  her  weapons.  No  kingdom  can 
be  safe  in  an  ordinary  way,  where  all  their  weapons  arc  taken 

\  from  them,  or  not  used  by  them  when  their  enemies  are  upoa 
f  their  borders.  When  the  church  hang  by,  and  lay  aside  faith, 
I  the  shield  whereby  we  defend  ourselves,  and  prayer,  whereby  we 
ofTend  our  enemies,  what  safety  is  to  be  expected  now  in  churches  ? 
"  Only  be  strong,"  saith  the  Lord  to  Joshua,  when  he  went  out 
upon  that  great  service  of  the  Lord.  Josh.  i.  17.  Epb.  vi.  13. 
There  Is  no  more  fearful  sign  of  ruin  to  a  church  than  where 
the  epirit  of  prayer  begins  to  fail ;  and,  verily,  if  any  people 
under  heaven  are  ready  to  miscarry  herein,  we  that  have  our  till 
of  peace  and  our  yoke«  broken  off  from  our  shoulders  arc  in 
most  danger ;  hut  if  it  be  so,  look  for  such  shakings  of  all  hearts, 
and  churches  also,  as  shall  make  you  find  your  tongues,  and 
knees,  and  ears,  and  hearts  again,  if  the  Lord  means  to  dwell 
with  you. 

5.  Not  bringing  forth  the  fruits  of  the  kingdom.  Matt.xxi.43. 
Cut  that  church  down  that  cumbers  the  ground  after  many 
years'  pruning  and  wetting.  That  kingdom  where  tbere  is 
church  trading,  hut  no  considerable  gain  coming  in,  will  eon 

•  quieUy,  aud  die  of  it^lf.     Fruit  is  the  laHt  end  of  the 


i 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  2^ 

All  duties  you  do  wherein  yon  attain  not,  or,  at  least,  aim  not  at 
jour  last  and  utmost  end,  that  is  not  fruit;  fruit  refresheth  others 
that  taste  it ;  when  a  Christian  walketh  so  as  another  is  not  the 
better  (not  much  refreshed)  by  him,  but  it  may  be  hardened 
rather,  by  a  sapless  example,  here  is  no  fruit,  and  this  calls  for 
the  ax  to  cut  down  the  tree. 

6.  Divisions.  This  pulls  down  kingdoms  without  help  of 
foreign  enemies.  K  a  kingdom  thrusts  swords  into  each  other's 
bellies,  this  wiU  soon  despatch  them.  It  is  the  Jesuits'  plot  to 
pulxlne  by  private  divisions  whom  they  cannot  conquer  by  force 
of  arms.  It  was  most  pleasing  to  Satan  to  prevail  with  Christ 
to  cast  himself  down  headlong  from  the  pinnacle,  rather  than  to 
fling  him  down  himself.  It  is  the  delight  of  hell  to  set  and  sec 
churches  at  variance  among  themselves ;  this  is  the  first  thing 
he  attempts  in  the  best  churches,  and  it  is  commonly  prosperous, 
if  the  Lord  leaves  the  watchmen  to  slumber,  and  not  to  be 
watchful,  and  fearful,  and  suddenly  sensible  of  the  least  begin- 
nings herein.  It  is  a  wonderful  thing  to  see  w^hat  a  small  occa- 
fiion  of  offence  will  do ;  a  word,  a  gesture,  a  garment,  a  matter 
of  indifferency.  It  is  strange  to  see  how  much  small  matters 
will  gore,  if  Satan's  head  be  in  them,  and  his  horns  be  set  upon 
them,  esi)ecially  in  churches  where  men  are  set  at  liberty  ami 
enjoy  it  jf  one  must  have  liberty  to  speak  one  thing,  and  another 
another  thing ;  I  am  of  this  mind,  saith  one ;  I  am  not  of 
that  mind,  brother,  saith  another.  It  is  w^onderful  to  see  what 
a  fire  a  secret  smother  and  smoke  of  suspicion  will  do.  But,  O, 
take  heed  here.  Gal.  v.  15.  Love  the  truth,  receive  no  opin- 
ion differing  from  the  most  approved  in  the  church  suddenly ; 
but  weep,  and  pray,  and  ask  counsel,  and  tremble  to  entertain  a 
thought  of  contention.  The  first  sin  which  brake  out  in  the  first 
Christian  church  was  murmurings.  Acts  vi.  1.  What  follows? 
Stephen,  an  earthly  angel,  full  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  suffers,  and 
is  taken  from  them,  (Acts  vii. ;)  and  after  this  the  whole  church 
is  scattered.  Acts  viii.  O,  keep  the  peace  of  the  church,  and 
rend  it  not  for  small  matters.  Love  one  another  sincerely,  and 
you  can  not  but  live  together  quietly. 


I 


CHAPTER   riL 

AND  THE  BECUJilTT  OP 

Section   I. 

Thds  much  of  ihe  place  t  now  let  us  consider  of  the  time 
when  tliis  prc[iaralion  is  made,  set  down  in  that  wonJ,  TTien, 
which  word  hath  reference  to  chapter  xxiv.  37,  viz.,  to  the 
daj'S  of  the  coming  of  the  !!k>n  of  man. 

Quesl,  Now,  when  are  these  days? 

Atim.  We  Ehidl  read  bulh  ia  prophetical  and  apostolical  writ- 
iogfi,  that  all  the  time  from  the  ascensitm  to  the  second  coming 
of  Christ  ia  colled  the  last  days.  Acts  ii.  16,  17.  Hence  the 
primitive  churches  did,  (l^^Os  since.)  and  all  the  churches  at  ihia 
day  ought  to  live  in  a  daily  expectation  of  hie  coming  again,  as 
these  virgins  here  did.  And  hence  some  think  that  all  this  lime 
may  be  the  days  of  the  coming  of  Christ,  wherein  oil  the  churches 
either  do,  or  should  look  out  for  the  coming  of  Christ.  Now, 
although  I  dare  not  CKclude  these  days,  in  a  large  sense,  from 
being  the  days  of  Christ's  coming,  as  being  the  last  days,  and  it 
being  the  duty  of  all  to  wait  for  this  coming  of  Christ,  as  well 
aa  those  who  lived  long  before  us,  (I  The*,  i.  10 ;  1  Cor.  i.  7.) 
yet,  I  believe,  here  is  meant,  more  particularly,  the  latter  part 
of  tliose  last  days ;  for  our  Saviour  having  foretold  of  many 
things  which  shall  fall  out  before  his  second  coming,  yet  he 
seemis  to  single  out  some  particular  time  in  these  last  days,  ta 
which  he  dolh  annex  this  (tiien,)  and  that  is  evident  to  all  tliat 
view  well  the  text,  that  they  are  the  days  of  his  coming;  for 
though  all  the  days  of  the  gospel  may  be  called  the  days  of  the 
Son  of  man,  and  some  days  especially  whereb  there  is  some 
kind  of  coming  of  the  Son  of  man,  na  when  he  comes  to  hear 
prayers,  (Luke  xviii.  8,)  yet,  to  speak  properly,  they  are  not  iha 
days  of  the  coming  of  the  Son  of  man.  And  look,  as  the  days 
of  Noah  were  not  all  the  days  from  the  creation  to  the  deluge, 
but  those  particular  years  before  the  flood,  »>  it  is  here  —  some 
special  times  before  his  coming  ore  the  days  of  his  coming. 

Section   IT. 
Quest.  But  what  is  (his  coming  of  Christ  ? 
A/ii.  Tliere  is  a  double  coming  of  Christ. 
1.  His  coming  to  call  the  Jews  and  to  gatlier  in  (he  fullness  of 
the  Gentiles  with  them,  which  is  called  the  "brightness  of  his 


1 


THE  TEN  YIBQINS.  25 

eoDung,"  (2  Thes.  ii.  8 ;)  when  there  shall  be  such  a  brightness 
of  the  trath  shining  forth  in  the  world,  armed  with  such  instru- 
ments as  shall  utterly  destroy  Antichrist,  long  before  his  second 
eoming.     Rev.  xix.  19,  20. 

2.  His  coming  to  judgment,  (Heb.  ix.  28 ;  1  Cor.  xv.  13, 24 ;) 
when  there  shall  be  a  universal  resurrection  of  good  and  bad. 
1  Thes.  iv.  15,  16,  17.  Now,  although  it  be  true  that,  at  the 
time  of  the  coming  of  Christ  to  call  the  Jews,  the  churches,  like 
chaste  virgins,  shall  wait  and  make  themselves  ready  for  the 
marriage  of  the  Lamb,  (Rev.  xL  7,)  yet  the  second  coming  of 
Christ  seems  to  be  the  time  which  is  here  directly  pointed  at. 
Then  shall  those  churches  be  virgin  churches,  waiting  for  Christ's 
eoming,  both  to  their  particular  judgment,  but  especially  to  the 
general  judgment,  when  he  shall  appear  as  a  glorious  Bridegroom 
to  the  consolation  and  salvation  of  those  who,  in  truth,  have 
waited  for  him  the  second  time.  For  this  coming  of  Christ, 
spoken  of  in  these  two  chapters,  is  that  coming  which  is  **  in 
power  and  great  glory,"  not  in  the  churches  spiritually,  but  "  in 
the  clouds  of  heaven."  Chapter  xxiv.  38.  Wherein  he  shall* 
separate  the  sheep  from  the  goats  ;  the  one  to  lie  among  devils ; 
the  other  to  possess,  not  an  earthly  kingdom  here  for  a  thousand 
years,  as  some,  from  mistaking  the  meaning  of  the  20th  chapter  of 
the  Revelation,  imagine ;  but  to  inherit  '^  the  kingdom  prepared 
for  them  from  the  foundation  of  the  world,"  (Matt.  xxv.  34 ;)  which 
can  not  be  any  better,  nor  any  other,  than  the  third  heaven,  where 
the  face  of  Giod  is  seen,  and  where  he  hath  had  an  innumerable 
host  of  glorious  angels,  his  subjects,  to  serve  him,  not  only  since 
the  first  time  of  man*s  creation,  but  the  first  foundation  of  the 
world.  Gen.  i.  1.  Which  also  Christ  himself  "is  gone  to  pre- 
pare for  us."  John  xiv.  2,  3.  And  which  Abraham's  faith  only 
expected,  even  a  city  which  was  not  earthly,  but  heavenly, 
^  which  hath  foundations,  whose  Builder  and  Maker  is  God." 
Heb.  xi.  10,  11.  So  that  although  this  parable  looks  most 
directly  into  those  times  which  are  yet  to  come,  yet  as  all  exam- 
ples registered  in  holy  Scripture  for  time  past  are  applicable  and 
useful  to  us,  so  these  that  are  yet  to  come  are  alike  instructive 
to  us,  especially  in  these  times  and  places  wherein  the  Lord, 
according  to  his  manner  of  working  great  things  usually,  gives 
among  us  some  small,  yet  lively  resemblance  of  those  days. 

Section  HL 

Doct.  That  in  those  days  of  Christ's  coming,  wherein  the 
cbnrches  of  Christ  and  professors  of  the  gospel  shall  grow  virgin 

VOL.  II.  8 


2fi  THE    PARABLE    OF 

churches,  —  all  visible  saints,  —  when  all  members  seem  lo  be 
eiipoused  to  Chriat,  yet  there  will  be  found  desperate  foUy  in 
some.  Olid  in  time  great  accurily  will  fall  upon  all. 

Home  there  lire  who  ihink  the  days  we  live  in  now  are  not 
only  the  days  of  tlie  Son  of  man,  hut  part  of  the  days  of  the 
coming  of  the  Son  of  man,  wherein  the  churches,  especially  in 
these  places,  grow  to  be  virgin  profeswrs.  Our  judgments  hold 
it,  our  practice  maintains  it,  all  uhurch  members  are  and  must  be 
visible  Paints,  visible  believers,  virgins  espoused  lo  Clirist,  escap- 
ing'the  poUulions  of  idolatry  and  the  world.  Take  heed  tlu; 
Lord  find  not  many  of  you  fooliitli ;  take  heed  that  you  are  not 
90,  that  in  time  you  grow  not  secure.  You  have  the  pillow  of 
]ieace  to  lie  on,  and  the  cores  of  Lhe  world  to  make  you  dream 
away  your  time,  and  you  have  no  pinching  persecutions  lo 
awaken  you ;  and  if  no  wrestlings  within,  look  for  security 
there.  Folly  will  be  the  death  aj)d  bane  of  some ;  hence 
boast  not.  ^cnrily^^^^gieejii^g^sickaess')  will  be  the  disease 
nf  others,  if  the  toSlpreveiit  not.  But  I  intend  not  to  anchor 
hcru,  only  to  set  up  marks  at  thcae  flata,  that  you  may  avoid 
thum,  and  come  not  near  them. 


CHAPTER  IV. 

SUOwerU  TUAT  THE  StlUL  THAT  WILL  EKJOY  COMMUNION  WITH 
I'UIUST  UlTST  BE  DIVOBCGD  FROU  ALL  OTUElt  LUIIDtl,  I'AK- 
TH.'UI^HLY  FKOM  LUSTS  AKD  FROM  THE  X.AW.  THE  UANNElt 
OF  ITS  liSrOUSAIi  tJKTO  CI1KI8T. 


■Section  I. 

Now,  (horefore,  to  come  lo  the  third  thing — the  persona  that 

make  this  preparation  are  act  forth.  I.  In  what  they  all  agree  inj 

ntid  that  is,  first,  in  that  they  are  all  virgins.     What  are  these  ?  _ 

Ans.  To  omit  lhe  Popish  interpretation  of  their  nuns  and  mock  A 

I  shall  rather  make  use  of  Scripture  to  give  light  to  interpret  J 
this  place.  For  opening  of  it,  know,  the  whole  church  may  b 
called  the  spouse  of  Christ ;  and  take  every  member  alone,  a  vii 
gin  Httending  on  this  spouse,  (Pb.  ilv. :)  nay,  the  aposilc  (2  Cop.1 
xi.  2)  calls  the  whole  church  a  virgin ;  so  that  hy  virgins  s 
meant  whole  particular  churches  of  Christ,  together  with  tbti  I 
ecveral  members  thcreol'.  Now,  virgins  are  such  as  are  fit  for  I 
marriage,  and  not  defiled  with  any  man,  as  it  is  said  of  Rebecc&j.J 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  27 

60  by  virgins  is  meant  those  that  are  not  polluted  within  or  with- 
out with  the  evils  of  the  world,  (Rev.  xiv.  4 ;)  but  more  is  to  be 
understood  here,  (2  Cor.  xi.  2 ;)  when  once  marriage  is  come,  they 
cea^e  to  be  virgins,  and  are  wives  ;  yet  when  espoused  to  Christ, 
Duw  they  are  spiritually  virgins ;  hence  these  here  are  only  like, 
to  virgins.  So  that  the  meaning  of  virgins  is  this :  by  virgins 
i^  meant  such  churches,  or  members  of  churches,  as  are  divorced 
from  all  other  lovers,  and  matched  only  to  Jesus  Christ.  These 
only  look  for  the  coming  of  Christ,  and  communion  with  him ; 
these  only  are  received  into  conmiunion.  "" 

Section  II.' 

06$.  1.  Whoever  look  for  everlasting  conmiunion  with  the 
Bridegroom  of  the  church,  Jesus  Christ,  must  be  virgins,  di- 
vorced from  all  others,  and  espoused  only  to  Jesus  Christ. 

Here  were,  indeed,  foolish  ones  among  these ;  yet,  as  foolish 
and  blind  as  they  were,  they  saw  that  this  was  the  way,  to  be 
like  the  wise,  to  be  virgins  as  well  as  they,  (Ps.  xlv.  10, 11 ;  Jer. 
iii.  19,  20 ;)  as  a  wife  departs,  so  ye  —  **  but  how  sliall  I  put  thee 
among  the  children,"  etc.;  "you  shall  cidl  me,  My  Father;" 
i.  e.,  one  instead  of  all  other  things ;  "  and  shall  not  turn  aside 
from  me,"  (IIos.  ii.  23 ;)  there  is  their  communion ;  hence  the 
Lord  will,  1.  Take  away  the  names  of  Balaam ;  2.  Betroth  them 
to  himself. 

Section  in. 

Qufst.  What  is  it  to  be  divorced  from  all  other  lovers  ? 

Ans,  IdolatrYJs^r^^^*^^^  whoredom  in  Scripture,  and  this  is  one 
thin;^  the  soul  must  be  divorced  from  before  it  can  be  matched  to 
the  Lord.  IIos.  ii.  2.  I  shall  not  need  to  press  this  here;  but 
tIi«Te  are  two  other  things  which  I  shall  show,  for  there  are  two 
things  that  every  man  doth  before  he  is  espoused  to  the  Lord 
Jr?u> ;  either,  first,  he  departs  and  goes  a  whoring,  by  unlaw- 
fully luatin^  after  the  creature,  (Ps.  Ixxiii.  27 ;  Jas.  iv.  4 ;)  or, 
r«e<iind,  he  is  lawfully  married,  as  he  thinks,  unto  the  law.  Rom. 
vii.  .'{,  4.  The  law  is  there  compared  to  a  husband,  from  which 
Chri?t,  indeed,  delivers  his,  yet  some  will  stick  to  it ;  either  the 
soul  takes  content  in  some  creature  more  than  in  Christ,  or  in 
home  righteousness  more  than  in  the  Lord  Jesus.  Now,  to  be 
divorctjd  from  all  other  things  is  for  the  heart  to  be  tiiken  oft* 
from  all  worldly  contentments.  Secondly,  from  comforting  itself 
in  the  l)osom  of  its  own  work  and  righteousness,  and  this  must  bo 
found  in  all  them  that  look  for  communion  with  the  Lord  Jesus. 


THE  1-ASABLE   OP 


Section  TV. 


The  heart  must  bu  divorced  frum  lusts  after,  and  pleasures  in, 
any  croalure.     For  proof,  we  must  kuow  this; — 

1.  The  soul  of  every  man  must  have  something  to  quiet  nnd 
comfort  it.  like  the  stomach.  It  is  death  and  hell  lo  want  it,  (ua 
the  Israelites  in  the  wilderness;)  hence  it  must  liave  it. 

2.  There  is  nothing  that  can  comfort  the  thirsty  heart ;  but  it 
is  either  in  the  spring  or  cistern,  fountain  or  bottles ;  either  ia 
God  or  in  the  creature. 

3.  Hence  man,  having  lost  God  and  all  good  there,  seeks  for 
it  in  the  creature ;  and  because  he  finds  not  enough  in  one,  digs 
for  it  in  another.  Ps.  iv.,  "  Who  will  show  us  any  good  ?  "  And 
hence  the  soul,  because  it  never  found  that  infinite  sweetness  in 
God  himself,  hisis  after  and  delights  in  the  creature  for  itself, 
loves  pleasure  for  plcnsure,  delights  in  the  creature  for  the  crea- 
ture, not  for  God.  Why  should  he,  seeing  he  never  found  content 
there  ?  And  here  the  soul  of  man  cleaves  night  and  day,  com- 
mitting spiritual  whoredom  before  the  face  of  God,  Now,  if  ever 
any  soul  has  communion  with  Christ,  it  must  be  divorced  frum 
all  creatures  tlms ;  foclufilJ&a  desire  after,  and  content  in,  the 
creature  for  thejrgature's  saJte. 

Reaton  iTlBecause,  whSe  the  heart  b  in  league  with  any 
creature  besides  the  Lord,  it  is  at  deadly  enmity  with  the  Lord. 
Jamed  iv.  4.     If  a  man  hath  a  rich  commwliiy,  and  one  comes 
and  offers  half  the  worth  of  it,  he  takes  it  iis  a  contempt;  if  it 
be  not  worth  this,  it  is  worth  nothing.     So  the  Lord  is  worthy 
of  all  our  love,  our  lives,  our  souls,  (though  we  had  a  thousand 
of  tbem ;)  and  will  a  man  not  part  with  his  lusts  for  him  ?    I  l«ll 
you,  the  Lord  lakes  himself  sUghted,  contemned,  and  loathed ;  if  I 
not  wortti  all  a  man's  love,  he  is  worth  nothing.    Now,  the  crea>*B 
tnre  is  made  a  god,  because  made  a  man's  last  end,  which  is  i 
proper  to  Goil  as  lo  make  him  the  Alpha  of  all.    Here  the  grct 
est  wrath  is  to  give  a  raan  his  fill  of  the  creature. 

Reason  9.  Because  so  long  the  soul  can  not  see  nor  come  b 
the  eye  and  feet  of  faitli  to  the  Lord  Jesus,  (John  v.  44,)  i 
think  Christ  better  than  all ;  as  birds  in  a  string  may  tly  high* 
but  when  they  come  to  the  end  of  the  line  they  fall  down  thersfl 
and  BO,  though  the  soul  flies  to  Christ,  yet  when,  indeed,  it  comi 
to  the  end  of  parting  with  all,  it  falls  down  and  foils  otf  fro 
Christ     Whole  men  have  no  heart  nor  desire  after  physicians  ;  ■ 
when  all  limbs  are  whole  and  strong,  no  desire  after  plasters ;  so, 
while  any  thing  eases  and  contents  the  heart,  there  is  no  desire 
after  ChrisL    Hos.  iv.  11,  "Whoredom  and  wine  have  taken 
away  the  heart." 


THE   TEN   VIRG^^S.  29 

Reason  3.  Because  so  long  the  heart,  if  it  do  come,  am  not  stay 
with  Christ  to  do  any  thing  for  Christ.  Matt.  vi.  24,  "  You  can 
not  swerve  God  and  riches,"  i.  e.,  two  masters,  who  have  constant 
employment ;  and  Christ  hath  set  us  such  employment.  Hence 
men  on  sick  beds  are  tame  as  may  be,  promise  any  thing,  because 
their  joy  in  the  creature  is  gone.  Hence,  on  the  other  side,  many 
men,  after  maily  springings  of  heart,  are  choked  by  thorns  of  the 
world. 

Reckon  4.  From  the  abundant  love  that  the  Lord  Jesus  shows 
to  them  that  ever  have,  or  look  for,  communion  with  him.  Those 
to  whom  we  show  much  love,  from  those  we  expect  mjich  again. 
As  a  man  if  taken  or  cast  out  to  be  servant,  one  looks  not  for 
love  from  him ;  but  when  a  man  hath  given  himself  and  made 
over  all  his  estate  to  another,  now  all  love  is  too  little.  So  it 
is  with  the  Lord  Jesus.     John  vi.,  ^'  Will  you  also  depart  ?  " 

Section  V. 

2.  The  poul  must  be  divorced  from  the  law,  i.  e.,  from  com- 
forting itself  with  the  righteousness  thereof.  For  oxi)lication 
of  whifh  we  must  consider  these  things:  — 

1.  That  the  Lord  doth  not  ever  give  a  man  content  in  his  sins 
and  lusts,  but  wounds  conscience  for  the  same. 

2.  That  tso  long  as  the  I^rd  wounds  a  man's  conscience  for 
i«in.  no  creiiture  can  give  a  man  comfort  or  content.  "  A  wounded 
spirit  who  can  liear  ?  "  Judas  casts  away  his  silver  pieces,  and 
IVlshazziir  quakes,  who  was  but  even  now  ({ualling  in  his  cups. 
A<i  a  man  that  hath  an  aching  tooth,  or  broken  bones,  what  can 
comfort  him  now  ? 

3.  Hereupon  the  law  falls  upon  a  man,  or  a  man  meets  with 
the  law ;  for  as  all  a  man's  sorrow  is  uj)on  him,  because  the  law 
is  broken,  all  a  man\s  care  is  how  he  may  keep  it  ap:ain.  What 
sliall  I  do  ?  yVs  a  man  cast  in  prison  for  debt,  there  all  is  opened  ; 
and  the  law,  like  an  earnest  suitor,  1.  Presseth  hard  for  love  and 
i»lK-dirnce  ;  2.  Promiseth  a  rich  portion — eternal  life,  if  he  can 
k«r«'i>  it ;  if  not,  you  must  be  damned ;  therefore  now  forsake 
vour  .«ins,  etc. 

I.  Hence  the  soul,  not  knowing  a  l>etter  hu>ban<l,  con^'cnls  and 
r« -solves  to  cleave  to  it.  Rom.  x.  ti  Deut.  v.,  **  Wluitever  the 
Lonl  will  have  us  do,  we  will  do  it ; "  and  here  it  stays  and  is 
comforted,  here  it  rests  ;  as  in  Asa's  time,  all  rcjoicrd  for  the 
oath.  (2  Chron.  xv. ;  Isa.  Iviii.  1,  2;)  and  if  it  lind  not  |;cricct 
comtbrt  Ix'cause  of  imperfect  work,  it  then  clo.^cth  with  Christ 
fur  lo  make  up  and  piece  up  all.  Oal.  v.  1.     And  now,  1  say,  it 

3* 


so  THE   FARABtK   OF 

IB  comfbrled  in  what  it  hath  and  doth,  and  here  it  rests ;  now, 
from  hence  it  must  be  divorL-ed.  What  need  I  prove  it,  when 
the  apostle  halh  so  fully.  Ga/at.  per  tolum  f  and  consider  the 
young  man.  MatL  xix.  Divorced,  I  say,  the  soul  mu»t  be  from 
this. 

1.  Because  he  that  doth  thus,  set.4  up  another  Christ,  and  makes 
himself  his  own  saviour.  Can  the  Lord  Jesus  take  such  a  soul 
into  communion  with  him  ?  Suppose  a  prince  be  pulled  by  his 
people  from  his  throne,  and  tbey  set  up  another  pious  prince  to 
rule,  will  this  serve  the  turn,  to  say  he  is  an  honest  prince?  so, 
though  duties  be  never  ao  good,  yet  not  to  advance  Christ  is  to 
pull  down  Christ. 

2.  Because  such  persons  do  commonly  most  oppose  the  Lord 
Jesus  in  a  way  of  believing,  though  not  in  a  way  of  doing ;  the 
Lord  hath  more  ado,  if  any  of  these  he  brought  home,  to  bring 
them  in ;  (hey  have  somewhat  to  say  for  tlioraselves,  they  have 
stronger  forts,  etc.  The  Scribes  and  Pharisees  rejected  the  coun- 
sel of  Gtod  against  themselves,  and  hence  no  people  left  to  auch 
deep  desertions  as  these,  if  the  Lord  intend  mercy  to  them,  for 
they  have  more  need  than  others. 

3.  Because  hereby  a  man  doth  but  make  a  conspiracy  agnjust 
God's  greatest  plot  that  ever  be  had  afoot,  viji. ;  to  lulvance  his 
free  grace  (GaL  v.  4)  you  are  fallen  from  grace,  for  nothing 
makes  a  man  more  fit  to  boast  than  works,  and  resting  in  them. 

■  Sin  makes  a  man  ashamed,  and  therefore,  if  they  come  to  heaven, 
they  have  laid  a  foundation  to  thank  themselves  for  somewhat} 
hence  no  communion  with  Jesus  Christ  in  this  frame ;  no,  thn 
Lonl  will  tear  down  this  foundation,  and  make  the  soul  cry 
guilty ;  mid  make  this  husband,  the  law,  to  be  judge,  to  examine' 
and  condemn ;  and  now  come  to  ask.  What  have  you  to  plead' 
for  your  life  and  peace  ?  Ii  hath  no  plea  to  show  but 
etc. ;  it  hath  its  duties  evidencing  against  it. 


'"^ 


.Section   VI. 

2.  The  soul  now  comes  to  be  cs}w>iised  to  the  Lord  Jesus. 

Quest.   How? 

Aiit.  1-  The  soul,  heholdingthc  glory  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  makes 
choice  of  him,  as  in  all  marri^e  bonds  there  is  a  choice  made  t 
and,  if  love  be  great,  there  is  little  standing  on  terms  —  Ici 
have  him  though  I  beg  with  him ;  so  the  soul  sees  such  a  suit* 
ableness  in  the  Lord  Jesus,  as  that  it  stands  not  on  terms  —  loi 
me  have  him,  though  in  prison  with  him,  though  in  the  garden 
In  i^nies  with  him,  though  in  the  crass  in  desertions  with  him( 


THE  TEN   YIK6INS.  81 

he  is  enoagh,  as  Peter,  when  he  saw  Christ  on  the  sea,  desired 
he  might  oome  to  him  there ;  (Heb.  zi.  26,)  *^  choosing  the  re- 
proach of  Christ,"  etc. ;  and  look,  as  Christ  chooseth  the  soul, 
1.  The  whole  soul ;  2.  Everlastingly ;  3.  Above  all  others ; 
so  it  makes  choice  of  Christ,  whole  Christ.  Phil.  iii.  9.  2. 
Everlastinglj,  "  The  Lord  is  my  portion  forever."  Ps.  Ixxiii.  26. 
And  before  ever  you  can  look  for  communion  with  him,  you 
most  make  this  choice  of  him,  and  glad  too  you  may  have  him  on 
any  terms ;  nay,  put  it  to  any  soul  the  Lord  hath  done  good  to, 
and  ask  it,  Will  you  have  him  ?  It  is  such  a  mercy,  I  can  not 
oooceive  how  one  so  vile  as  I  should  have  it ;  have  him,  the 
Lord  of  glory,  the  Prince  of  life  and  peace ;  O,  yes !  Hence 
Peter  said,  ^  Master,  what  shall  we  have  that  have  forsaken  all 
and  followed  thee?"  You  shall  sit  with  me  on  thrones;  and 
look,  as  Christ  now  chooseth  the  soul  above  others,  as  well  as  in 
heaven,  (John  xv.  1 6,)  so  it  now  chooseth  Christ,  ^'  Whom  have 
I  in  heaven  or  earth  ?  "  Many,  when  they  think  of  death,  or  are 
dying,  then  choose  him,  but  not  now,  or  choose  him  for  out- 
ward blessings,  not  spiritual  favor  and  life.  John  vi.  26,  27^^ 

2.  The  soul  hence  gves  itself,  like  one  espoused  to  her  hus- 
band, to  the  Lord  JesusT"  CaiiL" ii.  16,  "I  am  my  beloved's." 
Servants  give  work  for  their  wages,  and  masters  give  wages  for 
their  work,  but  husbands  and  wives  give  themselves  one  unto 
another ;  suitors  also  give  tokens  to  draw  on  love,  not  them- 
selves ;  so  servants  in  the  church  they  do  for  Grod  in  hope  of 
wages,  and  the  Lord  blesseth  them,  it  may  be  outwardly ;  but  he 
that  is  espoused  to  Christ  gives  himself.  Lord,  I  can  do  nothing 
for  thee ;  give  nothing  to  thee,  but  I  give  myself  to  thee,  that  thou 
wouldst  work  in  me  and  by  me.  Rom.  vi.  13.  So  the  Lord  is  a 
suitor  to  many  a  man  that  never  gives  himself  to  him  ;  he  gives 
them  some  comforts,  some  winning,  drawing,  melting  mercies,  but 
not  himself;  they  give  him  some  entertainment  and  good  words, 
a  thousand  wishes,  as  Capernaum  did,  but  not  themselves ;  but 
this  must  be,  if  ever  you  look  for  communion  with  him.  Hence 
David  saith,  "  I  am  thine,  save  me ; "  hence  some  made  ship- 
wreck of  faith,  they  were  not  the  Lord's  ;  hence  the  Lord  saith, 
he  knows  who  are  his,  (2  Tim.  ii.  18,  19  ;)  his  send  their  tokens 
again.  For  look,  as  it  is  an  evidence  of  much  love  when  a  man 
gives  the  dearest  thing  he  hath,  viz.,  his  whole  self,  to  the  Lord 
Jesus,  so  it  is  also  an  evidence  of  little  love  when  he  will  not 
give,  especially  another's  own.  Thou  art  none  of  thine  own  ; 
thou  hast  but  little  love  if  thou  give  not  thyself  to  him,  without 
which  never  look  for  life  and  communion  with  the  Lord. 

3.  The  soul  hence  takes  full  contentment  in  the  Lord  Jesus, 


32  TUE    PARABLE    OF 

as  a  spouse  hath  enoujrh,  wouM  liot  chanire  for  all  the  world,  as 
Peter  when  he  had  a  glimpse  of  Christ's  glory,  **  Lord,  let  lis  be 
here  ;  "  or,  as  Simcjn  that  liad  been  waiting  lor  the  consolation 
of  Israel,  when  once  he  had  Christ  in  his  arms,  "^  Now  let  thy 
servant  depart  in  peace."  I  have  cnougli ;  now  let  me  die,  mid 
not  live  to  sin  more ;  and  it  is  certain  as  there  is  somewhat  in 
creatures  that  contents  the  heart  without  Christ  in  an  unregen- 
erate  man,  so  contrariwise  in  a  regenerate.  John  iii.  29,  if  hear- 
ing the  bridegroom  is  joy,  what  is  having  him  ?  Indeed,  they 
take  content  in  other  tilings  but  as  coming  from  the  husband ; 
and  this  you  must  do  if  ever  you  look  for  communion  with  him. 
Can  not  you  be  content  with  the  Lord  alone  in  heaven  ?  you  shall 
never  come  there,  then,  lest  you  quarrel  for  want  of  som(;thing. 
Men  make  nothing  of  this,  to  bathe  their  hearts  in  the  sun,  and 
joy  in  what  they  have  and  hope  to  have,  but  the  Lord  may  be 
gone,  and  you  grieve  not.  Why  ?  Because  other  things  ease 
your  hearts.  There  can  be  no  communion  hereafter  if  you  de- 
spise it  now./^ 

Section   VII. 

Use  1.  This  serves  to  discover/' the  great  error,  most  common 
and  dangerous  of  the  whole  Christian  world,  who  think  that  they 
may  love  and  embraee  the  world  and  the  Lord  Jesus  too  ;  i.  e., 
they  may  not  be  virgins,  but  go  a  whoring  from  Christ,  and  yet 
partake  of  Christ  and  mercy  from  him  ;  that  look  as  it  was  in 
those  sad  days,  (Isa,  iv.  1,)  so  in  these  days  many  lay  hold  on 
Jesus  Christ ;  they  will  eat  their  own  bread,  live  on  their  own 
lusts,  and  wear  their  own  apparel,  their  own  rags,  only  let  us 
be  called  by  thy  name,  believers,  to  take  away  our  re- 
proach, for  that  is  an  open  shame  not  to  believe  in  Christ.  For 
this  is  the  professed  thought  of  some ;  every  one  is  a  sinner, 
and  I  am  one,  and  a  great  one  too,  and  who  can  say  his  heart  is 
clean,  none  can  free  himself  from  sin  in  this  life,  and  I  can  not 
do  it  if  I  would  ;  and  hence  look  on  Christ  to  save  them,  though 
sin  sleeps  in  them.  You  can  not  have  both.  I  would  but  incjuire, 
Ilath  not  every  man  something  that  contents  him  ?  What  is  it? 
Is  it  the  love,  the  fellowship  of  Jesus  ?  Yes,  it  may  be  at  a  sac- 
rament, and  it  may  be  not ;  for  thou  mayst  say.  The  Lord  never 
yet  revealed  his  love  and  self  unto  me,  never  yet  assured  me,  yet 
somewhat  joys  thy  heart. /What  think  you?  can  you  have  the 
Lordand  content  yourselves  thus  willi  other  things  ?  Why  ?  I  mist 
t4»  him  I  hope  so.  It  can  not  be  so.  Jf  the  Lord  Jesus  was  a  ])a- 
tron  of  brothel  houses,  a  protector  of  stews,  you  might  think  so. 
Some  say  they  can  not  pray  to  him,  nor  jirize  hini.  Why  ?  Some- 


THE  TEN  VIRGINS.  83 

tfainsT  else  oontentd  them  besides  him ;  but  know  it  can  not  be  so. 
I  know  a  saint  may  be  taken  aside,  as  David,  with  envy  at  others' 
prosperitj ;  bat  when  he  considers  of  it,  O,  what  a  beast  he  re- 
turns again  !  The  raven  and  the  dove  were  sent  forth ;  the  one 
came  i^ain  and  again,  the  other  not ;  therefore,  as  Josh.  xxiv. 
brought  the  people  to  these  thoughts,  "  jou  can  not  serve  the  Lord 
and  other  gods,"  as  Junius  notes,  so  bring  thyself  to  that  strait. 

0  that  the  Liord  would  set  on  this  one  thing  this  day !     When 

1  sadly  weigh  it,  it  confounds  me  and  makes  me  say.  Lord,  who 
then  can  be  saved  ?  I  know  with  God  all  things  are  possible ; 
but  this  is  rare. 

Section  VllL 

Use  2.  Hence  we  may  learn  who  they  are  that  never  shall 
have  everlasting  communion  with  the  Lord,  viz.,  those  that  never 
were  espoused  to  him ;  and  you  may  know  this,  if  never  yet  di- 
vorced from  all  others  besides  him.  Ps.  Ixxiii.  25,  26.  I  shall 
stay  a  while  here,  because  there  is  never  an  unsound  heart  in 
the  world ;  but  as  they  say  of  witches,  they  have  some  familiar 
that  sucks  them,  so  they  have  some  lust  that  is  beloved  of  them, 
some  beloved  there  is  they  have  given  a  promise  to,  never  to 
forsake ;  and,  also,  because  most  men  do  seem  and  think  they 
are  virgins  espoused  to  Christ,  and  look  for  communion  with 
him,  and  yet  not  divorced  from  all  other  besides  him.  I  shall 
show  hence, — 

1.  When  the  soul  is  in  league  with  the  creature. 

2.  When  married  to  the  law.  I  should  account  it  happy  if 
any  be  found  out. 


CHAPTER  V. 

showeiii  the  marks  and  signs  whereby  the  soul  may 
kxuw  whether  he  be  in  leagtje  or  love  with  any 
lust  or  creature,  or  married  to  the  law. 

Section  L 

Those  that  never  were  in  bitterness  and  sorrow  of  heart  for 
the  loss  of  God.     For  these  two  things  arc  as  clear  as  the  sun :  — 

1.  That  the  loss  of  God  is  the  greatest  loss;  for  it  is  the  ut- 
mt»i  and  last  plague  upon  the  damned  in  hell.  My  comforts, 
my  friends,  means,  heaven  is  gone ;  but  if  God  were  mine,  I 
would  be  comforted.  No,  God  is  gone ;  hence  no  sorrow  for 
any  loss  so  much  as  for  this.   Saul,  (1  Sam.  xxviii.  15,)  "  Grod  is 


34  TUE    TAUABLE    OF 

departed  from  me."  Hence  sore  distressed.  Nay,  the  Lord 
Jesus,  when  the  Father  defuirted  for  a  tim(;,  luid  he  knew  he 
would  return  luid  visit  him,  cried  out,  "  My  God,  why  hast  thou 
forsaken  me  ?  " 

2.  That  all  men  living  have  lost  God.  Isa.  lix.  1,2;  Ps. 
Iviii.  3,  "  The  wicked  go  astray  from  their  womb."  Now^,  I 
would  demand  why  men  either  feel  no  loss  at  all,  or  if  they  do, 
have  not  so  much  grace  as  the  damned  in  hell»  to  mourn  bitterly 
for  it,  so  as  nothing  can  comfort  them,  or  if  they  do,  they  are 
soon  eased  and  quieted  before  the  Lord  returns.  Why,  surely 
here  is  the  great  cause  of  it  —  they  have  some  other  thing  to  ease 
their  hearts  in  the  want  and  loss  of  God.  Jer.  ii.  13,  14.  Men 
must  have  water  to  drink  ;  why  do  men  live  from  the  fountain, 
nor  go  to  it,  nay,  not  know  it  ?  Because  they  have  broken  pits 
and  wells  at  their  own  doors ;  so  here.  And  hence  the  dimmed 
that  have  lived  at  ease  here  all  their  lifetime,  as  soon  as  ever 
dead,  then  tliey  cry  out  of  the  loss  of  God,  when  it  is  too  late, 
because  while  they  lived  they  had  somewhat  to  ease  themselves 
withal.  And  hence,  many  that  have  lived  long  with  convinced 
spirits  and  guilty  consciences,  when  they  come  to  die,  then  they 
arc  in  perplexities  of  mind,  agonies  of  heart,  insomuch  as  their 
sweat  trickles  like  water  from  them,  and  their  doleful  outcries 
for  loss  of  time  strike  to  the  hearts  of  all  that  come  near  them. 
0,  God  is  gone ;  because  now  all  comforts  which  were  their 
gods,  and  instead  of  God,  before,  have  taken  their  final  leave  of 
them.  Search  your  hearts,  therefore,  all  you  that  hear  me  this 
day.  Wast  thou  never  troubled  y^t?  Yes,  I  have  lost  my 
health,  my  child,  my  husband,  my  goods,  and  this  hath  troubled 
me.  But  tell  me,  didst  thou  never  feel  a  loss  of  God  blessed 
forever  —  loss  of  his  light,  his  sweetness,  his  love,  his  fellowship, 
liis  presence,  &c.,  and  this  hath  been  thy  intolerable  load  ?  Or, 
if  thou  hast  felt  it,  hast  thou  sought  and  found  him  ?  No,  but 
art  jocund  in  that  estate,  and  now  and  then  it  troubles  thee  a 
little,  then  it  is  certain  and  as  clear  jus  the  sun,  there  is  some 
creature  or  content  that  thy  heart  is  in  league  withal,  which 
easeth  thee  in  want  of  God,  and  which  is  instead  of  God  to  thee, 
and  which,  therefore,  is  thy  God ;  it  may  be  thy  apparel,  thy 
wife,  child,  etc. ;  and,  if  thou  die  in  this  estate,  never  shalt  thou 
have  communion  with  Jesus  Christ ;  "  The  mouth  of  the  Lord 
hath  spoken  it." 

Sign  2.  Dost  thou  find  the  Lord  a  stranger  to  thee  in  all  his 
ordinances,  wherein  it  may  be  the  Lord  sweetly,  and  wonderfully, 
and  mightily,  yet  not  always,  but  seasonably  reveals  himself  to 
others?     O,  but  thy  heart  dries  and  parches  aw^ay,  and  that 


THE    TEX    VIRGINS.  35 

witlioat  mncli  trouble  under  them  all.     If  so,  suspect  it,  believe 
iu  that  there  is  some  league  with  a  lust.     For  there  is  a  double 
life  of  a  Christian.     1.  An  outward  life  which  others  see.     Men 
see  he  comes  to  church,  prays  in  the  family,  etc.     2.     There  is 
.1  fecret  inward  life;   according  to  that  of  Matt.  vi.  6,  "Thy 
Father  which   sees   in   secret,"   which    none  knows   but  him- 
self and  the  Liord ;  and  this  an  ineffable  comn^nion  with  Grod, 
nsion  of    God,  delight  in  God,  etc.     Ps.  xlv.,  "The   King's 
daughter  is  all  glorious  within."     There  is  an  open  life  of  prayer, 
and  hearing,  and  fasting,  and  there  is  an  inward  secret  life  in  ^11 
liie«e,  wlicrein  the  Lord  acquaints  himself  with  his  people.   Ps. 
Ixiii.  1,  2,  3,  "  To  see  thee  as  I  have  seen  thee."     Now,  there 
be  divers  have  this  open  life,  yet  wanting  the  secret  life.     As  we 
love  not  to  live  among  tombs,  nor  to  have  any  communion  with 
dead  mea,  so  the  Lord  is  a  stranger  to  them.     He  may  secretly 
sweeten  an  ordinance  to  them,  and  move  them,  and  shake  and 
trouble  them  ;  but  himself  is  a  stranger,  spiritual  miseries  not 
r»*moved,  spiritual  mercies  not  conveyed.    Is.  hiii.   1,  2,  3,  4, 
*•  Why  have  we  fasted,  and   thou  regardest  not  ?     You   took 
plcjisure,  S4iith  the  Lord,  and  break  the  bonds  of  wickedness," 
ett*.     I  know  saints  may  be  thus  denied,  and  it  may  be  for  some 
jipat'e  of  lime ;  yet  they  quarrel  not  with  God  for  denying  them, 
but  are  nion;  taken  off  from  pleasures  thereby.     "  Thou  hidest 
thyfactf\and  I  was  troubled,"  though  the  mount  stood  still.     But 
some  there  be  whom  neither  good  day  mends  them  nor  bad  day 
Han»i  them.     Surely  there  is  some  content  thy  heart  is  bewitched 
withal.    That  look  as  it  is  with  a  suitor  to  another  ;  let  him,  while  he 
rom«»s  to  her,  profess  never  so  much  love,  and  desire  love,  yet  if, 
when  he  goes  from  her,  commits  lewdness  with  every  one,  she  will 
l«K"k  him  out.     So  it  is  here.     Never  did  1  know  anv  locked  out 
from  the  jwwer  and  sweetness  of  ordinances,  but  because  ihoy 
went    a  whoring   from    (i<k1    out  of  them.     The    Lord    knows, 
thou<rh  oth<*rs  do  not,  whether  it  is  so  with  vou.     Look,  there- 
for**,  ujMm  thyself.     You  enjoy  great  means  every  whore  in  this 
pl:w*».     I'*  it  enough  to  have  ordinances,  the  ark  ?    No.    Do  you 
find  the  I^inl  in  them  ?     Blessed  l)e  (lOil !    But  tell  me  trulv,  do 
you  find  no  want  of  God  ?     Yes.     Do  you   find   him  ?     1   lind 
in«»re  knowliMlgt*.  strength,  etc.     But  do  you   find  no  God  usu- 
allv?     No.     Then  either  some  creature  contents  theo,  or  if  the 
I>»rd  should  refresh  thee,  thou  wouldst  be  cont(.*nt  without  him. 
Man  and  wife  will,  if  thev  love,  mert  at  meals.   John  xiv.     But 
wh»-n   no   meeting,  d«*a<l   prayers,   dry  sermons,   saph'ss  >a(Ta- 
nH-nt«,  worse   than  bi'fon*.     If  thou  art  \\\v.  I^>nrs,  h<*  will,  l)y 
afllirtions,  purge,  et^^*.     But   if  thou  continuest  so,  look   for  no 
communion  in  heaven. 


86  1 

SiffH  S.     Doet  thou  find  no  rest  in  any  thing  thnt  thou  bast  ? 
For  this  is  clear,  notliing  can  give  rest  to  a  man's  soul  but  God. 
He  is  big  enough  onl^  to  till  it,  and  then  a  man  hath  it.  la. 
xxvi.  3.     Now,  if  DO  rest,  it  is  a  sign  thj  heart  eticke  to  the 
creature ;  jet  thou  sajest,  I  would  fain  have  the  Lord.     It  may 
be  BO,  but  thou  wouldst  have  creatures  too.     And  hence  God 
will  not,  and  creatures  can  not,  give  the  fullness  of  rest.     Thus  it 
was  with  Solomon,  Eccles.  ii.  3,     So  it  is  with  thee ;  thou  fiiid- 
c't  thy  soul  delighting  il^elf  in  all  things ;  jet  vanit}'  and  vexa- 
lion,  and  withal  giving  thyself  to  wisdom,  too.     It  is  true,  a  saint 
feels  an  emptiness  in  lliesc  things,  yet  he  feels  a  fullness  in  some> 
ihing  else.     He  liath  better  meat,  which  you  know  not  of,  which 
Solomon  did  not  for  a  time,  vet  afterward  he  did.     But  thou  find- 
eat  a  vanity  and  trouble,  and  art  never  at  peace  when  all  is  dona, 
weary  of  the  world.     But  hath  the  Lord  swallowed  thee  up  ii  ~ 
himself,  in  the  cloud  of  his  glory,  go  that  in  bis  favor  aUd  pr 
encB  thou  iindcst  life?     No:  then  there  is  some  lust  thou  lov( 
and  dying  thus,  shall  never*  see  the  face  of  ChrisL     Yea,  t 
will  come  as  a  heavy  indictment  against  thee,  that  God  hath 
wearied  thee  in  thy  way.     Tel,  (Jer.  ii.  25,)  "  There  is  no  hope 
after  thy  lovers  thou  wilt  go."     You  shall  scarce  find  any  bi 
feel  the  creature  vain,  and  yet  get  not  lo  rest  in  Godt 

Section  II. 

Discoveries  whether  we  are  married  to  the  law  or  not.  As 
here  I  shall  stay  longer.     Where  I  premise, — 

1.  When  I  speak  of  not  being  married  to  the  law  instead  of 
Christ,  I  do  not  hereby  exempt  yourselves  from  obedience  to  tJ 
law  after  you  are  in  ChrlsL 

2.  Do  not  think  I  speak  against  all,  evidencing  your  estati 
from  conformity  to  the  law,  though  I  do  from  some  eut^eclit 
and  obedience  performed  to  the  law. 

1.  If  the  law  was  never  dead  in  thee,  thou  art  married  to  tl 
law.  Hom.  vii.  2.  Now,  look  as  it  is  with  a  husband,  if  the  wi 
be  sick,  and  he  be  at  home,  whoever  forsakes  her,  he  will  uomfo 
her,  and  support  and  cheer  her ;  so  that,  if  he  cheer  her  not, 
is  a  sign  be  is  dead  ;  if  be  doth,  it  is  a  sign  he  is  alive  ;  for  d 
life  of  the  law  is  the  comfort  and  support  that  the  law  doth  gii 
for  a  time.  So  that  thou  wert  never  brought  to  tbat  sore  eVai 
that  thou  hast  not  felt  any  one  duty  to  cbeer  or  revive  thee  at 
comfort  thee  ;  but  hast  found  some  little  ihing  or  other  to  do  i 
it  is  certain  you  are  yet  married  to  the  law.  Ex.  gr.  It  may  1 
tbou  hast  been  troubled  in  uund  for  tby  sins ;  what  hath   ' 


TH£  TEN  VIBGIN8.  9f 

thee?   I  hare  forsaken  them,  and  cast  out  Jonah,  and  there  has 

been  i  cahn.     Why,  this  forsaking  thj  sins  (which  hath  not  been 

bB,  bat  some)  is  not  Christ,  but  an  act  of  the  law.     O,  but  I  have 

&OeD  again  into  sins ;  this  hath  troubled  thee.     What  hath 

cbeered  thee  ?    I  have  repented  and  been  sorrj  for  them,  and 

parposed  to  do  so  no  more.     This  is  the  life  of  the  law  stilL 

0,  but  you  find  sins  prevailing  against  jou,  and  jou  can  not  part 

with  them ;  and  hence  dare  not  resolve  against  them.     O,  but 

iBj  desire  is  good,  though  my  will  hath  ever  been  against  them. 

0  ignorance  I     This  desire  is  but  a  work  of  the  law ;  it  is  not 

Chnst     O,  but  I  have  found  no  desire  sometime.     What  hath 

quieied  you  now  ?     I  have  trusted  in  Christ.    You  have  done 

it    The  Lord  never  made  you  feel  a  need  of  the  Lord  to  draw 

TOO  to  trusty  though  to  be  assured  of  Christ's  love.    Is  this  a 

legal  act? 

Ans.  As  obedience  to  the  law  done  by  the  power  of  Christ  is 
an  evangelical  work,  so  to  perform  any  evangelical  work  from  a 
man's  self  is  a  legal  work ;  and  you  are  under  the  life  of  the 
law.  So  that  thou  hast  not  been  brought  to  that  pass  as  the 
church,  the  spouse,  was.  Is.  liv.  5,  6.  And  as  one  of  my  best 
friends,  and  best  men  that  lives  this  day  in  the  world,  after  many 
wrestlings  to  find  somewhat  in  himself  to  cheer  him,  and  could 
not ;  now,  saith  he,  ^  If  the  Lord,  out  of  his  good  nature,  etc., 
do  not  help  me,  I  am  undone  forever ;  for  I  have  a  heart  and 
nature  against  him,  and  the  more  I  do,  the  worse  I  am."  And, 
therefore,  thither  1  look.  Surely  you  are  under  the  life  of  the 
law,  and  are  far  enough  off  from  Clirist,  if  not  sensible  of  this, 
^ot  that  a  man  is  always  thus  ;  for  he  that  can  not  feel  after- 
ward the  Lord  Jesus,  by  the  power  of  his  grace  working  in  his 
heart,  I  would  conclude  he  never  had  any  at  all.  But  at  first  it 
is  so.     For  these  two  tilings  man  naturally  seeks,— 

1.  To  have  a  righteousness  in  himself  that  will  ease  him. 

2.  To  have  it  from  himself.  Kitchen  physic  is  not  far  to 
fetch. 

Now,  the  Lord's  plot  in  saving  his,  is,  1.  To  make  them  seek 
it  out  of  themselves  in  another :  "  Look  unto  me  and  be  saved, 
all  the  ends  of  the  earth."  2.  To  have  all  from  another,  that  so 
**  no  flesh  might  glory  before  him."  And  to  doubt  of  this  is  to 
doubt  whether  God  hath  plotted  the  glory  of  his  grace  or  no. 
Hence  the  Lord  empties  the  soul  of  both,  that  the  soul  saith, 
**  Ashur  shall  not  save  us."  llos.  xiv.  3,  4.  None  durst,  none 
can  comfort  it.  And  now,  to  the  wonderment  of  heaven  and 
everlasting  joy  of  a  poor  castaway,  and  the  eternal  honor  of  his 
fr«e  grace ;  now,  and  never  till  now,  doth  he  begin  to  make  the 

VOL.  II.  4 


I 


Bo  THE   TAUABLE   OF 

m&Iclt  between  the  Lord  Jesus  and  his  poor  soul.  And  an  ibe 
Lord  ne^er  comes  to  him  till  now,  so  Le  never  will  come  to  the 
Lord  wLilc  lie  hath  (he  least  good  ;  ns  it  was  with  ihe  proilignl 
while  anj  husks,  or  as  it  was  with  the  wouaa  with  her  bloody 
issue,  while  any  money  to  spend  on  other  physicians,  never  will 
try  what  Christ  can  do.  And,  therefore,  those  that  never  yet  knew 
of  the  death  of  the  law,  they  are  yet  married  to  it.  Hum.  ii.  17. 
I  know  many  a  soul  grieves  for  the  death  of  this  husband,  and 
now  thinks  it  is  undone  ;  I  con  not  do  this  and  that,  though  for- 
merly I  could,  indeed ;  I  soy,  if  there  be  any  love  of  Christ, 
now  is  the  time  of  it  Only  understand  God's  scope  here  in  iL 
Sign  2.  If  a  man  compl^s  more,  or  chiefly,  for  want  of  grace 
or  righteousness  to  remove  sin,  and  not  so  much  fur  wont  of 
Jesua  Christ,  then  in  this  case  it  is  as  it  is  with  n  woman,  that 
man  for  whose  absence  she  mourns  most,  that  is  her  husband. 
She  s^th  the  other  is ;  no,  but  he  is  not.  So  tliis  is  the  estate  of 
many  a  soul ;  they  have  neither  Christ  nor  righteousness.  Now, 
they  complain  so  much  that  their  hearts  sink  and  die  away  quite 
within  tliem.  And  what  is  it  for  ?  I  can  not  do  this,  nor  I  do  J 
not  find  nor  feel  such  signs  and  ofiections  within  me.  Such  i 
vile  heart,  I  know  not  the  like,  such  rising  in  ray  heai 
and  thoughts  of  it ;  why,  if  you  had  Christ,  all  this  would  b^J 
mended.  "  I  can  do  all  through  Christ."  But  you  con  " 
not  for  want  of  Christ,  nor  need  of  him,  from  these  (wo 
ments:  — 

1.  Because  the  feeling  of  your  sins  does  not  make  you  feel  ti 
greater  need  of  Christ,  as  John,  "  I  have  need  to  be  baptized,**! 
etc;    but  drive  yon   farther  from    Chrisl,  and   reason   it  onltM 
Sg^st  him.     And  why  ?     Because  you  would  have  a  righleotu^ 
ness  without  him  which  you  stand  in  need  of. 

2.  Because  he  that  feeb  a  need  of  the  Lord  Jesus  shall  not, 
when  he  is  offered,  need  entreating  to  take  him ;  as  you  shall 
not  need  entreat  hungry  men  to  eat  their  bread,  you  shall  not 
need  to  entreat  Zoceheus  to  receive  Christ  joyfully.  But  no 
commands,  no  entreaties,  can  prevail  with  you  to  take  him  when 
he  is  offered ;  you  have  no  heart  to  it.  Like  women  that  love 
their  own  husbands,  grieve  so  for  their  absence,  that  (hey  hnve 
no  heart  to  any  other  offer.  Is  it  thus  with  thee  ?  Then  it  is 
with  thee  as  it  was  with  that  young  man  that  asks  Christ  what 
ho  should  do  to  inherit  eternal  life.  He  liked  Christ  well,  but 
he  did  not  feel  a  need  of  Christ  himself  so  much  as  of  some 

pMOre  knowledge  of  the  law  and  ability  (o  do  it.     It  is  (he  grcAt 

..  1  plot  of  Arminians  to  make  Christ  a  means  only,  to  mnkc  every 

Quui  a  lirat  Adam  ;  setting  men  to  work  for  their  livmg  again  ; 


THE   TEN    VIRGINS.  ,  39 

for  tbey  grant  all  grace  is  lost,  all  comes  from  Christ,  Christ 
giTes  all,  and  to  Christ  we  must  look  for  all ;  and  then  when  we 
have  it  use  it  well ;  thus  you  shall  have  life,  else  look  for  death. 
So  it  is  a  misery  many  a  soul  is  in.  Men  will  trade  in  small 
vares,  rather  than  live  on  another's  alms.  Do  you  think  the 
Lord  takes  it  well  to  make  him  a  merchant  for  your  ends  ?  O, 
DO !     Never  look  to  have  communion  with  him  in  this  way.  _  i— 

Siffn  3.  Those  that  close  with,  but  rejoice  more  in  a  little 
grace  they  receive  from  Christ  than  in  all  the  fullness  in  Christ, 
more  in  a  little  they  do  than  in  all  the  Lord  Jesus  hath  done. 
Philip.  iiL  3.  That  is  a  woman's  husband  whom  she  rejoiceth 
most.  Do  you  rejoice  more  in  what  you  have  received  from 
him  (for  a  hypocrite  may  receive  from  Christ,  John  xv.  2)  than 
in  what  there  is  in  him  ?  It  argues  a  whorish  heart.  I  know 
a  man  may  rejoice  in  what  Christ  works  in  him;  but,  1.  Not 
more  in  this  than  in  Christ  himj*elf.  2.  A  child  of  Grod  may, 
whOe  he  knows  not  whether  Christ  is  his,  do  so  ;  but  you  think 
the  Lord  is  yours.  Well,  when  you  feel  affections  and  life,  then 
you  are  glad ;  when  that  is  lost,  then  sad.  Why,  is  there  no 
life  when  thou  art  dead,  no  glory  when  thou  art  base,  no  wisdom, 
no  communion  with  Grod,  when  thou  hast  none  ?  Yes ;  why 
doi?t  thou  not  rejoice  in  this  which  is  here  most  fully,  which 
Faints  presenting  please  the  Lord  more  by  than  by  giving  the 
glory  of  angels  infinite  millions  of  years  ?  O,  thy  heart  is  not  in 
love  with  Christ,  but  somewhat  else ;  for  here  is  the  joy  of  all 
saints,  "  In  thy  seed  shall  all  nations  account  themselves  bless- 
ed; "  all  nations,  one  and  another.  Is.  xlv.  24,  25,  "  Shall  all 
the  seed  of  Israel  be  justified,  and  shall  glory."  Consider,  there- 
fore, thii*,  thou  art  sometime  joyed.  Why  ?  O,  I  find  my  heart 
thus  and  thus.  And  is  this  all  ?  Yes ;  for  when  this  is  gone  all 
joy  dies.  And  should  I  not  do  thus  ?  Yes,  else  thou  never  felt 
comfort  of  it ;  but  not  only  rejoice  here,  but  when  the  beam  is 
gone,  the  Lord  is  not  gone,  Rom.  vii.  ulL  ;  when  the  bottles  are 
spent,  the  spring  is  full. 

4.  He  that  performs  any  duty  ultimately  to  ease  his  conscience, 
he  is  married  yet  unto  the  law  ;  for  there  are  two  sorts  of  duties 
to  the  law. 

1.  Some  are  directed  to  give  Christ  content  to  ease  his  heart, 
by  seeing  Grod's  love  in  Christ ;  then,  love  being  shed,  the  heart 
sheds  it  on  Christ  again ;  and  thus  saith  the  apostle,  ^'  I  through 
the  law  am  dead  to  it,  that  I  might  live  to  Grod."     Gal.  ii.  19. 

2.  Some  are  to  give  the  soul  ease ;  it  sees  sin,  and  fears  it 
most  die,  and  the  devil  appears,  and  when  it  lies  down  it  fears  it 
shall  never  awaken  again  ;  and  when  it  hears,  thinks  no  mercjy 


«0  THE   PARABLE   OF 

but  only  tliroaU  belong  to  it ;  and  lii>nco,  Imving  no  peace  of  con- 
sdence  to  think  God  will  love  it,  it  loves  ilnties.  doth  duties,  ani" 
now  takes  lliese  for  good  tokens  and  aigns  of  love ;  nnd  ii'  it  feel 
R  need  of  Christ,  it  is  only  to  case  it.  Now,  a  man  is  morriea 
to  the  law,  when  he  crowds  for  ease  into  the  bosom  of  it.  Deuti- 
V.  37.  They  were  in  great  fear — "  Whatever  God  wiU  have  oft 
do,  we  will  do  iL"  la  it  not  llius  with  many  F  How  ehall  wfii 
kuow  this  ? 

Ani.  Dost  thou  find  this  while  fears  and  terrors  of  consCienos 
ore  on  thee,  so  long  thou  dost  seek,  and  pray,  and  hear,  and  caU 
on  G!<kI,  and  when  Ihey  are  worn  away  with  time,  or  blown  over 
wiihfeeling  some  good  things  and  hopea  from  them,  then  tliy  heart, 
is  careless  again,  it  is  certain  you  are  yet  married  to  the  law  ;  at ' 
many  a  man  exceeding  forward  while  pressed  under  sense  of  UBr 
for  a  year  or  two.  Lord,  how  many  hundreds  drop  away  by  liltia 
and  little  afterward  1  Dent.  v.  29,  "  0  that  there  were  such  «. 
heart  alwayl"  Matt.  iii.  8,  7  to  13,  they  saw  a  wrath  to  coroc^ 
hence  feared,  and  hence  came  to  John's  baptism  to  repent  and 
confess  him. 

5.  No  man  that  is  married  to  the  law,  but  his  fig  leaves  ever 
cover  some  nakedness;    all  the  duties  ever  brood  some  luat. 
There  is  some  one  sin  or  other  the  man  lives  in,  which  either  the 
Lord  discovers,  and  he  will  not  part  with,  as  the  young  man,  or 
else  is  so  spiritual  he  can  not  see  all  his  lifetime.     Bead  through 
.  the  strictest  of  all.  and  see  this  ;  Matt,  xxiii.,  painted  sepulchers. 
Paul,  that  was  blameless,  yet  (Eph.  ii.  3  ;  Tit.  iii.  3)  served 
divers  "  lusts  and  pleasures ; "  and  the  reason  is,  the  law  ii  not 
the  ministration  of  the  Spirit,  (2  Cor.  iii.  8,  9,)  which  breaks  off 
&om  every  sin  ;  there  is  no  law  that  can  give  life.    Gal.  iii.  21> 
And  hence  many  men  have  strong  I'esolutionB,  and  break  all 
again ;  hence  men  sin  and  sorrow,  and  pray  again,  and  then 
with  more  case  in  their  sin.     Examine  thyself.     Is  there 
living  lust  with  thy  righteousness?     It  is  sure  it  is  a  righlet 
ness  that  thou  art  married  to,  and  never  wert  yet  matched  iO- 
Christ.     Hence  note  thj^clf ;  it  may  be  thou  hast  rested  in  du- 
ties, and  Eince  more  light  came,  mfi  it ;  and  seeing  this,  tlunking 
that  here  is  all  thy  error,  thou  hast  labored  to  see  the  emptinesB 
of  thy  own  righteousness  and  the  fullness  of  Christ,  and  now  tbo*' 
art  come  to  bolh,  and  now  well.     So,  then,  thou  hast 
out  any  lust  thou  livest  in  all  that  lime,  nor  the  venom  of  thy 
nature.     No,     Why,  then,  I  pronounce  thou  art  yet  married 
the  law ;  take  and  trust  never  bo  much  to  Cliriat's  righteousnof 
if  under  the  power  of  a  proud  heart,  on  unclean  heart  etill,  nc 
Speak  of  Christ. 


toox^V 
id  *>-■ 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  41 

Si^  6.  Thej  that  are  fearful  to  be  troubled  at  their  estate  to 
hare  it  prove  ill,  which  a  saint  may  do,  yet  brings  it  out  to  the 
light  at  last.  John  iii.  20.  When  a  woman  is  married  to  a  con- 
demned man,  guilt  being  upon  him,  he  loves  not  to  be  seen  abroad 
in  the  sight  of  others.  Thou  hearest  a  sermon,  and  art  loth  it 
should  be  found  out,  loth  to  be  troubled.  He  that  hath  right- 
eousness in  Christ  will  not  only  bring  it  to  trial  before  men,  but 
God  himself.  Now,  is  it  thus  with  any  of  you  ?  What  shall  I 
say  ?  Shall  I  say  that  Christ  is  or  may  be  thine  in  this  estate  ? 
Truly,  if  I  durst,  I  should.  Bless  thyself  thou  mayst ;  but  re- 
member that  the  Lord  will  take  thee  to  do  for  it;  and  what  is  it 
to  lose  communion  with  Christ  ?  I  can  not  express  it.  The  dis- 
ciples were  sad  when  he  went  away  from  them  in  his  abasement ; 
but  for  the  Lord  to  leave  thee  when  in  his  glory,  to  stand  afar 
off  and  see  him  go,  never  to  see  him  more,  when  no  tears  shall 
ever  prevail  again.  Therefore,  if  thou  hast  been  found  out  this 
day,  confess  and  give  glory  to  God,  and  let  thine  eyes  be  tears, 
that  Christ  would  overcome  and  draw  thy  soul  with  love,  and 
espouse  thee  to  himself  forever.*^ 


CHAPTER  VI. 

COKTAINING  MOTIVES  AND  ARGUMENTS  TO  PERSUADE  US  UNTO 
THE  LOVE  OF  CHRIST,  AND  TO  BE  ESPOUSED  TO  HIM. 

Use  3.  Is  there  no  communion  to  be  had  with  the  Lord  Jesus, 
unless  virgins  —  unless  espoused  to  him  ?  O,  therefore,  here  is 
a  match  for  you ;  choose  him,  get  your  affections,  if  entangled,  to 
come  off  if  insnared  to  any  other  thing,  and  set  your  hearts, 
bestow  your  love  upon  him.  For  it  is  not  a  dead  faith  (but  such 
a  faith  as  is  animated  by  love)  that  docs  espouse  you  to  him. 
GaL  V.  6,  "  Faith  which  works  by  love."  And,  therefore,  as 
the  love  of  other  things  (not  worth  looking  after)  has  got  the 
sovereignty  and  royalty  of  thy  heart,  so  this  is  a  conjugal  love, 
when  it  bears  rule  in  the  heart.  Let  Christ  have  this  love.  And 
as  you  have  loved  creatures  for  themselves,  now  love  the  Lord 
Jesus  for  himself.  And  as  they  have  easily  enticed  you  to  set 
your  hearts  upon  them,  now  be  persuaded  to  set  your  dearest 
affections  on  him.  It  is  said  of  John  Baptist,  he  was  the  bride- 
groom's friend,  to  speak  for  him.  John  iii.  29.  And  f truly  it  is 
the  main  work  of  the  ministry  to  woo  for  Christ,  and  so  to  pre- 
eeot  chaste  virgins  to  Christ.    This  shall  be  my  work  now, 

4» 


49  THE   PARAtlLK    OP 

which  may  be  BPHSonable  in  ihis  decaying  lime.     Therefore  I 
ahail  chieflj  bend  my  speech  to  three  sorts. 

1.  To  them  that  never  yet  loved  the  Lord  Jesua,  unlcaa  it  be 
from  the  teeth  outward. 

2.  Those  tbnt  have  been  Btriving  for  this  ;  yet  can  not,  to  iJieir 
own  feeling,  come  to  this. 

3.  Those  that  have  ao  ;  but  their  affections  are  dried  up,  and 
love  is  parched  away,  "  iniquity  abounds,"  elc.  And  my  mo- 
tives shall  be  these  four: — 

1.  Consider  the  glory  of  the  person  whom  I  shall  be  a  spokce- 
tnan  for  this  day. 

2.  Consider  he  makes  love  to  thee. 

S.  Consider  that  all  he  seeks  for  is  love. 

4.  Consider  what  he  will  do  for  thee,  how  ho  will  love  thee,  if 
thou  wilt  love  him. 

Section  I. 

Consider  the  glory  of  the  person  for  whom  I  plciid  for  love. 
What  can  you  love  besides  him  ?  Where  can  you  find  any  like 
unto  him  ?  I  know  the  glory  of  the  Lord  is  not  revealed,  be- 
cause the  grass  withers  not,  the  flower  fades  not,  the  creature 
appears  not  in  his  withering  vanity.  Is.  xl.  But  if  the  Lord 
would  but  open  your  eyes  to  see  him,  tliis  would  win  your  hearts 
alone  to  hUu. 

Now,  I  shall  single  out  only  these  five  things,  to  give  you  ft 
glimpse  of  his  glory.  Lift  up  thy  heart,  and  say,  "  Lord,  hide 
not  now  thy  face  from  nie." 

1.  He  is  the  Prince  of  the  kings  of  the  earth.  Rev,  i.  5.  Tho 
glory  of  the  world  is  a  kingdom,  the  glorious  diamond  of  tliat 
kingdom  is  a  prince  in  his  glory.  Now,  for  a  poor  beggar  to 
have  an  offer  of  love  from  the  greatest  prince  in  the  world, 
would  it  not  tempt  her?  Would  she  not  forsnke  her  lovers,  and 
sot  her  heart  on  him?  Why,  look  what  a  distance  thero  is  be- 
tween the  poorest  peasant  and  the  highest  prince  ;  so  base,  and 
a  thousand  times,  are  all  the  princes  of  the  world  to  Christ, 
whoso  dominion  is  from  sea  to  sea,  from  sun  to  sun,  who  sets  up 
and  pulls  down  kings  like  counters,  who  rules  their  courts,  their 
kingdoms,  their  hearts,  and  they  do  not  do,  they  can  not  do,  but 
what  ho  will.  Other  kings  are  princes,  are  rulers  of  men  j 
Christ  Prince  of  kings.  Now,  who  would  not  be  glad  of  liia 
love?  who,  having  tastoil  death,  is  set  down  on  the  right  hand 
of  God  on  high,  clothed  with  emlle^a  glory,  who  has  kings  in  hla 
chains,  whose  breath  is  not  in  his  nostrils,  whose  favor  is  not  for 
a  day,  but  he  Uvea  and  reigna  forever.     Now,  does  Christ  reign  ? 


THE  TEN  YIROINS.  48 

Is  he  a  Lord,  and  in  glory  upon  bis  throne  ?  Methinks  I  see 
Jesos  at  the  right  hand  of  God.  Your  foolish  affections  have 
undone  you,  if  you  love  him  not. 

2.  He  is  appointed  by  the  Father  to  be  Judge  of  quick  and 
dead  at  the  last  day,  (John  v.  22,  23,)  as  well  as  to  rule  all  now. 
So  that  if  you  do  maintain  enmity  against  him,  he  may  let  you 
akme,  you  may  live  in  health  and  die  in  peace,  in  the  eye  of  man, 
and  in  thine  own  eyes,  too ;  yet  there  is  a  day  coming  he  will 
break  out  of  heaven,  with  a  shout,  and  appear  in  the  clouds,  in 
the  amazing  glory  of  his  Father,  ^  with  all  his  mighty  angels, 
and  all  the  dead  shall  hear  his  voice,"  and  you  shall  appear  be- 
fore him  with  this  body,  when  the  heavens  shall  bum  round 
about  him,  and  the  earth  shall  tremble  under  him,  and  all  guilty 
eyes  mourning  and  wailing  because  of  him.  Then  you  shall 
know  what  it  is  to  despise  him,  and  wish,  O  that  I  had  loved 
him.  Rev.  i.  7.  You  that  say  you  love  him,  yet  by  an  impeni- 
tent heart  pierce  him,  you  shall  wail,  even  so,  Amen.  Men  do 
not  see  an  end  of  these  things,  nor  the  glory  of  the  Lord  another 
day.  Hence  creatures  are  loved,  and  the  Lord  of  glory  is 
lothed.  A  great  prince  may  not  be  so  highly  esteemed  until  he 
appears  in  his  state.  Prisoners  would  give  any  money  (much 
more  love)  for  the  judge's  favor. 

3.  He  only  is  the  procurer  and  author  of  all  the  good  that 
ever  thou  didst  suck  out  here,  though  thou  hast  neither  known 
him,  nor  been  thankful  to  him.  For  look,  as  it  was  with  angels, 
so  it  should  have  been  with  man ;  the  wrath  of  God  should  have 
been  poured  out  upon  him,  and  on  all  the  world,  and  creatures 
should  have  been  tormentors  of  him,  but  that  the  Lord  Jesus 
begged  and  bought  the  world.  And  hence  (1  Tim.  iv.  10) 
called  "  Saviour  of  all,  but  chiefly  of  the  elect."  Micah  iv.  4, 
**  In  his  days,  men  shall  sit  under  vines  and  fig  trees."  So  that 
if  ever  any  creature  ever  did  thee  good,  it  was  Jesus  that  put 
that  sweetness  in  it,  out  of  his  fullness,  and  set  it  a  work,  sent  it 
to  thee,  gave  it  thee  to  do^thee  good.  Thou  shouldst  never 
have  had  wink  of  sleep,  never  restrained  from  one  sin,  but  lived 
in  blaspheming  Grod,  never  have  heard  of  a  gospel  but  for  Christ. 
And  will  you  not  love  him  ?  O  ungrateful  world !  unnatural 
generation  of  men !  Why  dost  thou  love  any  creature  ?  It  is 
for  the  p^^txiLitjmd  good  in  it.  If  there  be  so  much  in  it, 
what  is  tfiere  in  Christ  that  gave  it,  that  dropped  it  into  it  ?  Never 
love  him  if  there  be  any  thing  good  that  is  not  by  him.  Ps.  cxvi. 
1,  "The  Lord  hath  heard  my  j^rayor;  I  will  call  on  him  as  long 
as  I  live."  Much  more  when  the  Lord  hath  delivered,  and  thou 
didst  never  seek  to  him. 


4^  THE   PAItABLE   OF 

4.  He  is  the  everltiating  wonderment  of  BWntfi  in  hearen.  Tlie 
(jueen  of  Shebn  heanl  of  Solommi,  wliicb  made  her  eome  to  see 
him ;  but  she  before  imagined  but  that  which  now  she  saw  nitli 
her  own  eyea,  nnd  that  mpt  her  out  of  herself.  Here  we  hear 
of  the  Lord  Jesus,  of  his  beauly  and  glory,  and  thia  draws  sainls 
to  liim ;  and,  when  come,  tliey  see  thnt  which  they  never  saw 
before,  especially  when  in  heaven.  Then  fall  down  in  everlast* 
ing  admiralJon  at  this  mystery,  for  the  blessedness  of  saints  ia  lo 
see  Christ  in  his  glory.  John  xvii.  21.  Now,  this  lies  in  an  in- 
finite good  i  this  can  not  be  seen  in  a  finite  time.  Hence  saints 
shall  be  pierring  their  eyes  deeper  and  deeper  into  this  mystery, 
and  shall  ever  see  more  and  mora,  but  never  see  all ;  and  this  is 
their  joy  and  glory  in  heaven.  Is  it  so?  AVbat  think  you,  is 
Christ  worthy  of  your  love,  or  not  ?  Look  upon  oil  the  glory  of 
the  field  of  this  world,  you  may  see  an  end  of  all  perfection,  but 
never  here. 

5,  He  is  ihe  delights  and  bosom  love  of  God  himself.  FroT. 
viii.  30.  Hence  John,  when  he  came  to  set  Christ  out,  (John 
iii.  35,)  "The  Father  loveth  the  Son."  Now  is  it  so;  surely 
though  you  see  not,  Uiste  not  this  good,  yet  there  it  is  j  now,  tell 
me  if  this  person  do  not  chaUenge  love,  would  you  not  be  glad 
to  have  him  ?  Tou  will  say.  Can  lie  look  upon  such  a  wretch, 
embraoe  such  a  leper  as  I?     No,  surely,  he  will  never  do  it. 


me-J 


Section  II. 
Consider  he  makes  love  lo  thee.  Not  one  soul  that  hears 
this  day  but  the  Lord  Jesus  is  a  suitor  unio,  thni  now  ye  wonlilij 
be  espoused  lo  liim  ;  "  He  cnmc  unto  his  own,  and  they 
him  not."  Whatever  the  secret  purpose  of  Christ  is,  I  regard 
not.  In  this  evangelical  dispensation  of  grace,  he  makes  love  to 
all.  John  i.  12.  It  is  clear.  Matt.  sxii.  2,  3.  If  there  be  a 
gospel  in  the  world,  there  is  this  love  of  Christ  yearning  toward 
all,  especially  all  that  have  this  ^spel  of  peace  sent  to  them. 
Luke  ii.  10.  "  It  is  tidings  of  great  joy  lo  all  people," 
is  tidings  of  great  sorrow  to  all  people.  l<uko  ii.  14.  j 
from  heaven  preached  this  good  will  towards  men.  For 
challenge  of  love  from  men  should  be  ^nded  on  his  actual  love 
to  some,  having  died  ibr  some,  tlic-n  tlie  offer  would  be  fiarticular. 
Bui  it  is  grounded,  1.  On  his  own  worth  and  glory,  and  hence 
he  cballcngeth  love.  2.  On  tliis,  for  aught  1  know,  he  has  loved 
me.  So  that  thou  art  not  so  vile  but  the  Lord  Jesus'  heart 
s  upon  thee  for  love.     Bu 

Now  it  is  real  lo' 


1 


THE   TEN   YIROINS.  45 

2.  Frequent  love.    3.  Constant    4.  Pure  love  he  makes  to 

thee. 

1.  It  is  real  love.  When  the  gospel  and  ministers  seek  for 
love,  the  Lord  is  real  in  his  desires,  there  is  no  collusion  or  dis- 
sembling, (2  Cor.  v.  20,)  in  Christ's  stead,  '^  He  that  receiveth 
jou  receiveth  me ;  ^  thou  thinkest  the  Lord  cares  not  for  thee^ 
Dor  doth  not  desire  thee,  though  he  doth  others ;  but,  — 

1.  Either  the  Lord  would  have  thee  lothe  him  or  love  him. 
What  think  you  ? 

2.  If  the  Lord  did  not  make  love  to  thee,  he  would  not  be 
really  angry  for  rejecting  of  this  love ;  but  the  Lord  is  really 
angry  for  rejecting  it,  and  wroth  with  nothing  so  much  as  that. 
P5.iL  12.  Here  he  swears  in  his  wrath,  (Ps.  xcv.  11,)  when 
he  opens  his  bosom  for  thee  to  rest  in,  and  thou  wilt  not. 

3.  Look  but  upon  the  dealings  of  God  with  thee.  1.  Hast 
thou  not  oft  thought  some  in  heU  better  than  thee  ?  Why,  the 
ruin  of  millions  of  men  is  to  win  love  £rom  thee.  Jer.  iii.  8,  9, 
10.  2.  Hath  not  the  Lord  sent  many  a  mercy  to  thee,  not  one 
but  was  to  win  thee?  Ps.  Ixxxi.  10,  11,  12.  3.  Hath  not  the 
Lord  withheld  many  from  thee,  as  here  in  this  wilderness  ?  Jer. 
iiL  3, 4.  4.  Hath  not  the  Lord  sent  many  sorrows,  terrors,  fears, 
cares,  wearisome  businesses,  that  thou  hast  wished  an  end  of 
life  ?  This  is  love.  Hos.  ii.  6.  5.  Hath  not  the  Lord  moved 
thy  heart  many  a  time  toward  him  by  persuasions,  arguments 
which  have  a  power  to  move  the  heart?  This  is  love,  (Hos.  xi. 
4,)  **  cords  of  a  man."  6.  Hath  not  the  Lord  oft  melted  thy 
heart  for  mercies,  as  David,  when  he  might  have  killed  Saul  ? 
Truly,  you  may  feel  his  love  which  is  much  toward  you ;  that 
which  keeps  off  thy  heart  from  love  is,  the  Lord  intends  it  not 
to  me,  he  is  not  plain  with  me.  But  he  sends  to  thee  his  plain 
gospel,  which  thou  art  to  attend  unto  ;  and  he  takes  fittest  sea- 
sons to  speak  to  thee  now  in  the  time  of  thy  health.  And  does 
he  not  oft  visit  thy  heart  when  thou  art  alone  ? 

2.  It  is  fervent,  vehement,  earnest  love.  Sometimes  a  suitor 
is  real,  but  he  is  not  earnest.  Now,  thus  the  Lord  is.  1.  The 
Lord  longs  for  this.  Deut.  v.  29.  2.  Pleads  for  this,  (Jer.  iL 
5,)  **What  iniquity,"  etc.  3.  Thinks  long  for  this  time,  (Jer. 
xiii.  27,)  "  Jerusalem  will  not  be  made  clean  ;  when  shall  it  once 
be  ?  "•  4.  Mourns  when  he  hath  not  this,  (Ezek.  vi.  9,)  **  Broken 
with  their  whorish  heart."  5.  Content  to  give  away  any  thing 
for  it,  all  the  love  of  Christ  is  founded  on  this.  6.  If  thou  com- 
est  not  presently,  he  is  content  to  wait  that  he  may  be  gracious. 

3.  It  is  constant  and  continual ;  there  is  not  a  moment,  thou 
doet  not  60  oft  breathe,  as  thou  mayst  see  and  taste  love.    Is. 


46  THE    PAUABLE    OF 

xxvii.  3,  Ikv.  2.  1.  After  all  ihy  whorish  departing  from  God, 
th»C  if  man  should  do  mi,  no  man  would  own,  yiiC  he  »ai(li,  "  Ke- 
lumlome;"  thou  secsl  never  a  creature  l)ut  tbou  liiiat  loved 
more  than  Christ ;  yet  return.  2.  When  God  threatens  most 
terrihiy,  and  eela  his  futy  on  record,  yet  then  there  he  minda 
nothing  but  love.  Jer,  xxxvi.  2,  3.  3.  When  none  else  will 
own  and  pity  thee,  thou  art  so  vile,  yet  (Ezek.  svi.  2,  3)  the 
Lord  Baith,  "  Live,  then  is  a  time  of  love,"  4.  Nay,  when  thou 
hast  cast  away  thyself  as  a  forlorn  creature,  yet  (Hos.  xiv.  3) 
"  In  thee  the  fatherless  find  mercy."  6.  When  he  hath  thee  in 
his  arms  ready  to  give  thee  up,  yet  then,  "  How  shall  I  give 
thee  up,  O  Ephraim  ?  "  Hoa.  xi.  8,  I  tell  thee,  if  one  sparkle 
of  his  eternal  blasting  displeasure  should  fall  upon  thee,  it  would 
be  BO  intolerable  that  it  would  sink  thee ;  his  love  is  as  strong  as 
death ;  no  water  can  quench  it.  0,  it  is  not  so  with  man,  or 
great  men.  Once  repulsed  is  enough;  why  should  the  Lord  do 
BO  here?  Many  thinlc  time  is  past.  It  is  not  so.  It  is  the 
temptation  of  them  that  have  time,  not  of  them  that  want  it. 
Take  heed  this  make  thee  not  despise  him.  '     i*  ^4 

4.  It  is  a  pure  love.  Others  make  loye^fqr  their  own  ^nda, 
but  the  Lord  hath  no  need  of  thee,  or^of  thy  love.  He  couT" 
rwae  up  of  stones  children  of  praise ;  he  could  have  gone  t 
others ;  he  could  have,  and  con  fetch,  his  glory  out  of  thy  ruii 
He  was  blessed  before  all  worlds :  and  by  all  thy  sins  thou  dost 
but  (brow  stone-s  against  the  wind,  or  snowballs  against  the  sua 
Why  dotli  he  do  it?  Q,  itis  lliy  good.  He  pities  thee,  as  once: 
Jerusalem,  to  look  upon  ihy  destruction  and  desolation.  As  it  tt, 
with  the  elect,  they  have  wrath  before  their  eyes,  and  hence  pen 
suade  others;  so  the  Ixird  Jesus.  ' 


Section  HI. 

Consider  it  ia  nothmg  else  but  love  the  Lord  looks  for,  or  carets 
for.  Love  bo^aiw-iiothiag  but-kwe,  (Prov.  viii.  17,)  and  this 
ia  tlie  'enJ  ^Tall  election,  lo  be  holy  before  him  in  love ;  and/ 
mark  it,  if  it  be  a  stayed  lovelLat  constrains  thee  to  him.  you' 
ran  not  wrong  him.  As  if  you  come  and  persuade  one  to  murder 
hifl  child,  he  can  not;  so  if  persuaded  to  despise,  O,  bowels  of 
heartbreaking  love.  2  Cor.  v.  And  surely  it  is  admirable  love. 
What  if  it  were  thy  goods,  thy  Isaac  to  be  sacrificed,  thy  body 
to  be  burned,  it  was  nothing  j  bdt  he  desires  only  love,  only  thy 
'heart,  which  hoa  forged  so  much  villany  against  him.  Let  hini 
never  be  called  upon,  or  professed,  if  not  worthy  of  this.  AftW 
all,  is  this  all?  Ves,  no  portion  he  cares  for  ;  and  when  he  h 
this,  he  has  all.     Wonder  at  this,  0  angels  I 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  47 


Section  IV. 


Consider  what  he  will  do  for  thee,  how  he  will  love  thee,  if 
thoa  wilt  thus  love  him. 

1.  He  will  set  thee  next  himself  in  honor,  (Ps.  xlv.  9 ;)  that 
as  the  Lord  Jesus  is  next  to  God,  sits  at  his  right  hand,  so  here, 
Thich  is  an  honor  that  the  angels  have  not,  who  are  nowhere 
called  Christ's  spouse ;  hence  never  had  such  a  union,  hence 
sever  shall  partaike  of  that  honor  of  saints. 

2.  lie  will  enrich  thee.  As  it  is  with  man  and  wife,  all  that 
be  has  is  hers ;  so  himself  and  all  his  glory,  his  Grod,  his  Father, 
his  kingdom  is  thine.  Prov.  viii.  21,  they  that  love  me  inherit 
something ;  others  nothing ;  no,  nothing  indeed,  only  shows  of 
good ;  and  they  find  it  so  when  they  awake,  nothing  their  own, 
nothing  long;  that  let  thy  outward  man,  yea,  thy  inward,  be 
never  so  poor,  thou  shalt  by  him  be  heir  of  aU. 

3.  He  will  counsel  thee.  Hence  David  (Ps.  Ixxiii.)  made 
choice  of  God:  "Thou  wilt  guide  me  by  thy  counsel."  No 
greater  curse  than  to  be  left  to  the  guidance  of  a  man's  own 
counsel ;  but  here  there  shall  not  be  any  strait,  but  the  Lord  will 
show  thee  a  way  out  of  i^  either  by  his  prudence  or  providence. 
There  shall  not  be  any  secret  of  Chris4  that  thou  desirest  to 
know,  but,  as  Christ  told  them,  "  You  are  my  friends,"  so  you 
are  my  spouse ;  hence  all  his  secrets  shall  be  opened  to  thee ; 
there  shall  not  be  one  act  of  thy  life  but  ordered  by  infinite  pru- 
dence, and  wisdom,  and  love.  Sometimes  we  are  befooled  in  our 
own  counsels,  and  left  to  them  to  teach  us  to  depend  on  the  Lord 
the  more ;  yet  thereby  shall  come  out  such  good  that  it  shall  bo 
among  us  as  with  Joseph's  brethren. 

4.  lie  will  dwell  with  thee  as  a  man  must  dwell  with  his  wife, 
(.John  xiv.  23 ;)  that  the  great  Mediator,  that  passes  by  kings 
and  princes,  and  will  not  look  on  them,  should  come  and  dwell 
with  tliee.  This  is  better  than  to  have  the  presence  of  kings,  the 
guard  of  angels,  better  than  heaven  itself,  that  he  should  dwell 
where  i»  nothing  worthy  to  entertain  him,  only  something  to  grieve 
him.     Now  this  is, — 

1.  A  constant  assistance  of  the  Spirit;  that,  let  the  soul  go 
where  he  will,  —  be  brought  to  never  so  low  an  ebb, — yet  Christ 
will  not  out,  but  some  stirrings,  sighings,  lookings,  pantings  after 
Cbri:$t ;  when  heart  and  strength  fail,  yet  God,  etc. ;  wlien  ready 
to  give  all  for  lost,  then  consider,  as  Ps.  Ixxiii.  2.  If  he  does 
dcjMurt,  he  will  not  be  long,  but  return  again  ;  and  those  that 
know  his  afiection  know  it  so  to  be.  Is.  liv.  "  For  a  little  mo- 
ment," etc.     So  the  Lord  may  depart ;  ami,  when  his  presence 


I 


■  terycs 

^H        covena 
^^^      nnderlJ 


48  THE   TARADLE  OF 

is  a  Utile  more  esteemed,  come  again  wilfa  everlasting  mercie8> 
As  a  man  may  know  many  weaknesses  by  his  wife,  yet  elie  haT- 
ing  Dot  bestowed  her  heart  on  any  other,  he  will  return ;  bo  if 
thou  canst  eay  yet  I  am  ibe  Lord's,  lie  wiU  return. 

5.  He  will  rejoice  in  thee  and  over  Uiee,  (Zeph.  iii.  17,)  as  a 
bridegroom  docs  over  the  bridu.  Not  because  of  any  beauty  ia. 
Ihee,  for  there  is  none,  but  because  given  in  marriage  of  T 
Father,  and  for  his  own  sake.  This  day  thou  sbalt  no  seiner 
thy  heart  on  Christ  but  be  falls  in  love  with  thee,  and  will  tnk* 
the«  with  joy ;  thou  tbinkest  he  will  be  angry  if  thou  closest  wiih 
him  and  love  him ;  no,  it  will  bo  the  joy  of  heaven,  of  Jestu 
Christ  himself. 

6.  He  will  exceedingly  comfort  thee ;  and  look  as  tt  is  with 
tender  husbands,  then  they  comfort  most  when  most  sorr 
tide  them;  for  who  could  endure  his  wife  should  be  always 
drooping  ?  So  even  iheu  when  nothing  doth  or  can  comfort 
thee,  the  Lord  will.  Is.  liv.  6.  For  the  Lord  doth  not  always 
comfort ;  but  when  in  need,  us  wiih  the  patriareiis,  then  God  ap- 
peared, when  they  were  at  worst ;  and  these  are  abundant  com- 
forls.  2  Cor.  i.  3,  4,  5,  You  shall  not  need  to  gcmmblo  for  it, 
AS  many  do,  whose  hearts  do  not  love  Christ  in  truth  as  yet. 

7.  He  will  put  up  all  wrongs,  and  bear  exceedingly  with  thee. 
Many  ihink,  ovon  when  God  bath  sealed  lore  to  them,  if  any 
little  sin  be  committed,  then  they  are  cast  off;  no,  if  under  ihu 
bw,  so  indeed,  but  when  espoused  to  him,  it  is  not  weakuossea 
nor  willfulness  can  make  the  Lord  cast  thee  away  ;  but  he  will 
heal  the  one,  and  afflict  thee  (yet  not  cast  thee  off)  for  the  otheri 
(Ps.  butsix.  33.)  "My  loving-kindness  will  I  never  lake  away." 
Yea,  he  will  forgive  both;  (Luke  vii.  47,)  "Much  forgiven  be- 
cause she  loved  much,"  Nay,  thy  wrongs  shall  be  an  occasion 
ta  make  him  love  thee  more;  (Rom.  v.)  "  Where  sin  abounds, 
grace  abounds." 

8.  He  will  never  part  with  thee.  Hos.  ii.  19.  Once  love  him, 
and  he  will  never  lose  thee. 

1.  No  sin  shall  port  thee  and  him;  for  Christ,  when  he  c 
into  marriage  covenant,  docs  not  suspend  his  love  on  our  grtK 
or  holiness,  —  then  he  might  leave  quickly,  —  but  on  his  ow 
grace  to  wash  away  our  lllthineas.  Kjih.  v,  2S,  26-  If  a  htd 
band  marries  a  woman  only  fur  so  long  as  she  is  in  health,  thfse 
when  sickness  comes  he  mny  depart;  hut  «  contra,  if  U 
away  her  sicknesses,  then  they  can  not  hinder  i  nothing  but  ndut 
tery  can  part.  Now,  that  they  can  not  do,  for  nothing  breaks  ti' 
covenant  is  broken  i  and  ihe  covenant  here  is  everlastinn 
nnderlaken  for  by  the  Lord  that  it  con  never  be  broken. 


THE  TEN   YIRGINS.  49 

i  No  miseriea  can,  (^m.  viii.  35,  36,  37 ;)  ^  Can  tribula- 
tion?" It  makes  man  leaye  us;  but  this  is  peculiar  to  Christ 
—he  will  not  leave. 

S.  Death  can  not    It  must  part  man  and  wife,  though  loved 
never  so  dearly  before,  but  here  not ;  but  then  he  will  come  him- 
self and  fetch  thee,  (John  xiv.  1,  2,  3,)  take  thy  soul  to  the  bride 
chamber,  there  to  be  with  him  forever  and  ever ;  and  he  will 
keep  the  dust  of  thy  blessed  body,  and  not  lose  one  dust  of  it, 
and  at  the  last  day  raise  it ;  and  then,  when  others  shall  cry  out, 
yonder  is  he  whom  I  have  grieved,  then  shalt  thou  lift  up  thy 
bend ;  yonder  comes  my  husband,  to  comfort  me,  to  crown  me, 
that  I  may  dwell  with  him.     It  shall  be  the  blessed  day  to  thee. 
And  when  judgment  is  done,  thou  shalt  go  with  thy  beloved  from 
the  air  up  to  heaven  with  a  shout,  and  live  in  his  love  and  dear- 
est embracing  of  thee ;  and  this  he  will  do  for  thee,  so  poor  and 
vile  in  thine  own  eyes.     Now,  will  you  have  him,  and  that  now, 
or  no? 

Section  V. 

Object  1.  If  the  Lord  be  so  desirous  of  me,  why  doth  he  not 
OTercome  me? 

Ans.  If  the  Lord  doth  it,  it  is  by  these  cords  of  love ;  and  if 
not,  the  brand  of  a  reprobate  is  upon  thee. 

Ohfect.  2.  But  I  do  love  him  already. 

Ans.  Is  it  with  such  a  love  as  makes  you  unable  to  resist  him, 
to  wrong  him  ?  As  the  apostle  said,  "  We  can  not  speak  against 
the  truth,  but  for  it ;  **  for  if  not,  it  is  nought.  There  is  a  nat- 
ural love  to  Christ,  as  to  one  that  dothUiee  good,  and  for  thine 
own  ends  ;  and  spiritual,  for  hhnselTpwhereby  the  Lord  only  is 
exalted.     Hast  thou  this  ? 

Obftet.  3.  But  I  do  not  hate  Christ 

Am,  If  any  man  do  not  love  him  with  a  positive  love,  let  him 
be  anathema. 

(Jbject.  4.  I  can  not  love  him. 

Ans,  1.  What  canst  thou  love  else  ?  2.  Thou  canst  not  love 
him  so  well  as  thou  shouldst ;  therefore  close  with  him,  and  lovo 
will  follow.     3.  Get  the  Lord  to  overcome  thy  heart.   Jer.  iii.  19. 

Quest.  How  shall  I  do  it  ? 

Apu.  1.  Set  him  before  thee.  "Who  will  commit  lewdness 
while  her  husband  looks  on  ?  "   Ps.  xvi.  8. 

2.  See  what  content  thou  givest  Christ  by  love.  Smallest 
duties  coming  from  love  are  accepted.  What  makes  thee  \vTong 
him  to  please  thyself?  Let  a  tiling  cross  thcc,  yet  it  contents 
Christ  Jesus. 

VOL.  n.  5 


50  THE    rillABLE    OF 

3,  Get  him,  and  wait  by  fniih  on  him  to  overcome  ihy  hes 
and  the  work  is  done  then.  Now,  will  you  do  this  or  not? 
not,  Bay,  then,  you  have  had  a  fair  otTur,  and  tell  the  devils  so,  ' 
when  thou  goest  down  lo  hell,  as  it  may  be  thou  moyst  ere  long. 
Men  tAlk  of  terrible  sermons,  but  theee  sink  deepest.  Tell  me, 
dost  thou  love  the  Lord  oniy?  Wilt  thou  keep  lusts  or  Chri«t 
alone  ?  If  so.  then  look  to  it>  In  this  country,  a  woman  killed 
her  child,  and  she  said  when  she  did  it,  her  cliild  smiled  upon 
her.  Wilt  ihou  kick  Christ's  love  now  when  he  smiles  upon 
thee  ?  Afterward  she  repentpd,  hut  it  was  too  laie.  Women, 
when  they  have  a  mind  to  some  other,  murder  their  husbands  j 
hut  if  known,  burned  they  must  be.  But  wilt  thou  ha%e  bim 
and  love  him  alone  ?  O,  it'  persuaded  to  ihif,  then  happy  for- 
ever I  Let  this  day  be  the  beginning  of  eternal  glory  to  tby 
soul,  and  the  God  of  peuee  be  with  ihec. 


CIJAPTER   YJI. 


[ 


smiWKIH  THAT  A  MAN  HATH  NO  POWCll  IN  HIMSELF  TO  DOifl 
ANY  sriKITUAL  WOKK,  IJLT  THAT  HE  MUST  BEC'EIVE  AUbf 
FROM   C II  HIST. 

t/ie  4.  Hence  we  see  a  necesfiity,  if  ever  we  look  to  have  ' 
communion  with  Christ,  to  do  all  spiritual  work,  all  we  do  ((/jw- 
hgice)  from  the  mighty  power  of  Christ,  from  the  life  and  spirit 
of  Christ.     To  bring  forth  no  spiritual  act  but  from  Christ,  and 
for  Christ,  (I  shall  put  both  in  one,  and  the  latter  into  the  first ; 
for  none  act  truly  from  him  but  it  ia  for  him ;)  for  you  know  if  J 
a  woman  bring  forth  children  to  any  other  but  her  own  ' 
that  woman  hath  lost  her  chastity ;  ho  when  men  shall  bring 
forth  the  i'ruits  of  obedience  to  any  other,  from  any  other  1 
from   Christ,  they  lose  iheir  virginity,  their  chastity,  withontfl 
which  no  communion  with  Christ ;  for  I  have  ever  made  tw< 
parla   or  degrees  of  Christian   cliastity,  as  it  is   in  outwu 
chastity. 

1.  The  soul  seta  its  chief  affections  on  Christ  alone ;  that  loc 
as  it  is  with  a  woman,  though  »he  can  not  do  much,  nor  deaen 
his  love,  yet  her  heart  is  with  him ;  herself  is  hb:,  (Cant.  vi.  \ 
"  I  am  my  beloved's." 

2.  The  soul  brings  forth  fruits  of  love  only  unto  Christ ; 
from  Clirist  and  for  Christ,  as,  in  marriage,  tlio  worn  _ 
forth  fruit  of  her  womb  to  her  hueband ;  and  this  is  set  Ao% 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  51 

plamlj.  Rom.  vii.  4.  The  first  we  have  handled.  Now,  a 
^tk  of  thid.  And  that  I  may  press  this,  which  is  of  much  use 
to  jou,  give  me  leave  to  express  myself  in  these  conclusions. 

Section  I. 

(hnduston  1.  That  all  men  living  nakedly,  considered  in 
themselves,  have  lost  all  power  to  do  any  thing  that  is  good. 
Rom.  ill.  12,  "  None  that  doeth  good."  1.  His  light  is  quite 
extinct  and  his  eyes  quite  out ;  hence  said  to  ^'  sit  in  darkness 
and  the  shadow  of  death."  Matt.  iv.  16.  Now,  a  shadow  is  a 
privation  of  some  light ;  this  of  all  light ;  hence  called  darkness 
itseHI  Xafce  tlie  blindest  Indian,  he  is  a  witness  of  this  truth, 
and  a  right  picture  of  a  soul  fallen  from  God.  Hence,  because 
he  can  not  see,  he  can  not  jo.  1  Cor.  ii.  14.  2.  AH  that  life  he 
had  to  act  well  is  lost  too.  Eph.  ii.  1,  "He  is  dead  in  tres- 
passes and  sins ; "  he  can  not  breathe,  nor  speak,  nor  think,  nor 
do  any  thing  that  is  good ;  I  say,  nakedly  considered  in  himself. 
And  hence  look  upon  a  man  quite  forsaken  of  Grod  in  hell ;  there 
you  may  see,  as  in  a  lively  looking-glass,  what  every  man  living 
is  when  the  Lord  leaves  him  ;  he  can  blaspheme,  he  can  not  love 
him  ;  he  can  contenm  God,  he  can  not  esteem  him ;  he  can  wish 
there  were  no  Grod  to  punish  him ;  he  can  not  submit  unto  God, 
though  he  leaves  the  most  heavy  load  upon  him ;  and  you  see 
not  yourselves,  until  you  see  yourselves  here,  and  see  yourselves 
thus. 

Section  U. 

ConSustan  2.  That  unto  some  men  especially,  nay,  unto  all 
men  almost,  though  vile,  yet  more  or  less  the  Lord  gives  a  power 
to  act,  and  live,  and  move,  and  to  do  many  spiritual  duties,  or 
good  duties  from  themselves.  For  as  there  is  a  breadth  in  the/ 
ways  of  grace,  that  every  Christian  hath  not  the  like  measure 
of  grace,  so  there  is  a  breadth  or  latitude  in  the  ways  of  sin. 
Every  sinner  breaks  not  forth  into  the  like  measure  of  sin,  but 
some  are  far  better  than  others ;  as  the  three  grounds  that  were 
bad,  yet  one  better  than  another.  Now,  how  comes  this  about  ? 
Why,  the  Lord  gives  that  power  to  act  (as  all  the  knowledge  of 
a  God)  by  the  light  of  nature,  (falselyso  called ;)  this  is  the  work 
of  God.  Rom.  i.  19^^  Hence  all  terrors,  and  comforts,  and  du- 
ties of  conscience  ar'e  all  from  Grod ;  so  the  historical  faith  of  the 
go<pel,  which  many  have,  and  so  to  confess  and  profess  no  sal- 
viUion  but  by  Christ,  together  with  a  readiness  to  die  in  defence 
of  this  truth  and  religion,  and  joy  from  this,  and  reformation  of 


5i  THE   TARABLE   OF 

life  Upon  tliifl ;  none  of  Ihese  are  natural  to  ibis  Boil  of  n  maa'tf 
Bou],  but  all  are  plnnted  ihcre  by  God,  (1  Cur.  xii.  2,  3  ;)  luid  n 
tliat  man  can  act  according  to  Ibc  law,  be  strict  in  Sabbaths,  f 
quent  in  fastings  and  prajera,  etc.,  it  m  fnua  God.    (Rom.  x.  ^^fM 
And  why  doth  the  Lord  work  this?     It  is  clae  no  living  in  tl^^ 
world  among  men,  and  because  Christ  is  tlie  poUltcum  cttaMfcfl 
and  hath  bought  all  Men  in  the  world  to  be  UisBervants;  bebce 
gives  them  gifts  which  he  turns  for  tlie  good  of  his  people ;  but 
jet  thiB  is  the  nature  of  all  tliese  abilities  that  a  man  acts  from 
the  Btrength  and  power  of  them,  not  from  Christ,   Micah  iv.  5. 
Other  nations  "  will  walk  in  the  name,"  etc. ;  and  the  reason  is,  — 

1.  Because  every  man  is  under  the  guidance  either  of  ibe 
first  or  second  coveoaDt,  and  power  of  either.  Now,  as  lh« 
power  of  the  second  covenant  is  to  draw  a  man  out  of  himself 
to  another,  and  so  to  moke  him  act  frvm  another,  so  the  power 
of  the  first  is  to  drive  a  man  into  himself  by  terrors,  and  fcirs, 
and  hopes,  and  rewards,  and  so  lo  enable  him  to  ait  from  hira- 
eelf ;  hence  it  is  impossible  but  they  must  act  ever  from  them- 
Belves.     And,  — 

2.  Because,  though  many  good  gifla  and  moral  virtues  may 
be  said  to  be  supernatural ;  i.  e.,  above  the  power  of  nature  to 

.  work,  yet  never  above  the  improvement  of  nature ;  for  let  God 
work  never  bo  many  good  things  in  man,  nature ;  i.  e.,  an  ill 
stomach,  when  diseased,  is  strongest;  there  nature  turns  all  into 
the  humor,  and  so  a  man  dies  at  last ;  bo  the  power  of  sin  in 
nature  being  more  powerful  than  any  grace  whidi  by  common 
work  is  given  it,  ever  turns  that  grace  into  ilself,  and  leads  it 
into  captivity,  bondage,  and  serriee  of  itsell";  ho  that  there  is 
never  a  grace  but  it  is  made  to  serve  Bome  lust,  as  in  fchu,  in 
Jodas,  etc ;  and  God  complains.  Is.  xliii,  34.  So  this,  I  say,  is 
the  case  of  thousands  unregenemte,  who  con  do  many  good  things 
but  from  themselves,  which  God  hath  wrought  to;  and  henM 
many  a  child  of  God  hath  been  long  hindered  from  conversion, 
and  others  not  converted  at  all,  because  they  have  thought  wicked 
men,  whom  God  minds  to  damn,  are  Biich  as  have  no  good,  nor 
do  no  good,  or  if  they  do,  they  have  it  not  from  God ;  but  it  is 
not  80  wilh  me,  for  I  have  and  do  many  good  things,  which  1 
acknowledge  come  from  God,  and  I  thank  God  I  am  not  as  other 
men.  Kow,  mark,  it  is  true,  nakedly  considered,  no  good  could 
come  from  unregenemte  men,  but  yet  the  Lord  gives  power  to 
many  to  do ;  so  the  Lord  liaa  done  to'  thee,  and  thou  liast  been 
thankful  for  it.  And  this  b  common ;  many  account  themselves 
great  sinners,  but  yet  they  can  believe.  Many  say  they  can  do 
Utile;  but  their  desire  and  will  at  worso  is  to  do.    Tell  theta 


THE   TEN    VIRGINS.  53 

these  are  not  right,  unless  they  come  from  the  Lord ;  they  will 
saj,  the  Lord  doth  all,  and  they  acknowledge  it,  and  so  I  believe, 
aod  it  is  true  ;  but  it  is  not  such  a  work  of  the  Lord  as  is  pecu- 
liar to  the  elect,  because  when  the  Lord  hath  wrought  these  you 
act  only  from  them,  and  hence  never  feel  a  want  of  these,  for 
the  Lord  never  yet  wrought  any  grace  in  his  people,  but  after 
ihej  have  had  it,  and  tasted  of  it,  he  hath  more  or  less  deserted 
them,  and  so  hath  made  them  feel  a  want  of  it,  and  made  them 
fetch  it  again,  with  sighs,  and  groans,  and  tears.     Now,  it  hath 
never  been  so  with  thee. 

Section  in. 

Conclusion  3.  That  it  is  most  pleasing  to  man  and  agreeable 
to  his  nature  to  act  only  from  himself.  As  it  was  with  the 
prodigal,  he  desired  his  stock  in  his  oWn  hands,  and  while  any 
thing  lasted,  he  would  never  come  home ;  and  hence  those, 
John  vi.  28.  Wliat  shall  we  do  to  work  the  works  of  Grod? 
And  when  Christ  spake  of  faith,  they  were  stumbled  there, 
insomuch  that  divers  did  forsake  him. 

1.  Because  man's  acting  from  himself  is  best  able  to  attain 
his  own  ends,  to  which,  you  know,  a  man  is  gently  and  necessa- 
rily earned ;  for  no  man  out  of  Christ,  but  his  own  ends  draw  him. 
Now,  Christ  crosseth  a  man's  own  ends,  and  to  live  on  him  is  to  live 
on  him  that  will  confound  them  of  their  own  ends,  or  else  no  life 
there-  Hence  they  live  from  themselves.  As  it  is  with  a  crafts- 
man or  artificer,  propounding  tlie  gain  or  credit  they  may  get  i 
by  being  excellent  in  their  trade,  may,  by  their  own  study  and 
frequency  of  acts,  grow  dextrous  and  very  skillful  at  last,  and 
hence  delight  in  it ;  so  here,  profession  and  practice  of  religion 
may  be  a  man's  trade  which  he  may  drive  for  his  own  ends  and 
gain,  and  hence  may  desire  to  be  excellent,  and  (by  endeavor) 
be  excellent,  and  profit  exceedingly  in  many  excellent  endow- 
ments.    Hence  he  acts  and  works  for  himself.  Kom.  i.  14. 

2.  Because  a  man  naturally  knows  not  how  to  fetch  it  from 
Christ  from  heaven.  Rom.  x.  3.  Hence  it  is  with  them  as  with 
a  child  cast  off  by  the  father  and  put  to  some  hard  master ;  be- 
cause they  have  no  father  to  maintain  them,  they  must  live  as 
they  are  and  do  as  well  as  they  can.  A  man  comes  to  pray, 
knows  not  how  to  fetch  strength  from  Christ,  and  he  must  pray, 
and  hence  prays  as  well  as  he  can. 

3.  Because  it  is  so  hard  a  thing  to  live  upon  another.  It  is 
easy  and  sweet  to  a  spiritual  heart,  but  most  difficult  to  any 
carnal  heart.  John  vi.    Christ  tells  them  they  must  eat  his  flesh ; 

6» 


THE   PARABLE  OP 


S4 

they  Bay,  "Who  can  then  be  saved ?"  And  many  departed. 
Men  had  rather  niiiki:  holu£  an<l  kccgi  water  in  ihcir  house  than 
hnve  it  far  to  fetch,  and  when  ihey  come  to  feteli  it  to  bestow 
Buch  fitrength  in  drawing  of  it. 

4.  Because  every  man  thinks  he  loves  and  cares  for  himself 
beat,  and  sees  no  God  nor  Christ  caring  for  or  loving  of  him 
more  than  himself.  Hence  a  man  plots  for  himself,  and  hves  for 
himself,  and  all  from  himself.  As  when  Joseph's  brethren  saw 
their  brother,  then  they  came  down  and  lived  upon  him.  Before, 
they  came  to  him,  indeed,  but  witli  their  money,  to  live  of  them- 
selves. And  thus  it  was  with  the  young  man  — "  Sell  all  and 
have  riches  in  heaven."  No,  He  loved  himself,  and  cared  for 
himself  better  than  bo;  hence  would  not  commit  and  give  away 
all  to  Christ. 

5.  Because  whatever  a  man  does  from  himself,  either  it  is 
good,  or  he  thinks  it  so,  or  hopes,  if  not,  God  will  accept  it. 
Some  evil  in  it,  perhaps,  but  he  hath  his  allowances,  which  will 
make  it  go ;  some  good  desires  or  faith  in  Christ,  and  hence 
hopes ;  if  not,  thinka  God  will  accept  of  what  comca  from  him- 
self. As,  (Prov.xjj.  2,)  "AUamiiD'sways  areright  in  hiaowo 
eyes."  And  truly  natuj;e_iffiil  Satan  have  ever  been  imitators 
and  apes  of  God,  to  fdr^e  and  make^grace  like  true  grace ;  hence 
deceived.  This,  being  pleasing  to  men,  is  the  prauticc  of  most 
men ;  yea,  of  all  men  out  of  Christ  And  this  is  one  of  the 
great  part  of  the  inward,  secret,  subtile,  spiritual  whoredom  of 
the  Boul.  /Thus  men  may  sorrow,  when  yet  there  is  little  true 
sofrow,  and  so  in  other  cases. 


Section  IV. 

Conclusion  4.  That  all  theae  works,  though  good  in  themsclvei,,- 1 
yet  are  moat  vile  before  the  Lord.  Aa  Chriat  speaks  of  thv'i 
Pharisees,  it  is  abominalion  in  the  sight  of  God,  wliich  is  glorir  I 
ous  before  man.    Luke  xvi.  lo.  1 

1.  Because  hereby  the  Boul  deprives  Christ  of  the  ejidjjlhiaJ 
coming;  for  all  men  having  lost  the  slock  and  power  to  " 
Lord  hence  will  trust  no  man  with  it  again.     Hence  pu 
a  Burer  and  better  hand,  that  thither  poor,  blind,  dead  creature 
might  fly  for  life  ;  and  when  Ihey  are  there,  hve  there 
on  tlieir  honey.    John  vi.  27,  xvii.  23.     He  mifht  nei 
looked  after  yon,  and  will  you  despise  him  now  ?    What  fol^ 
and  unkindness  is  this,  that  when  your  pits  arc  dry,  and  bottl^ 
empty,  and  soulfl  mberahle  here,  you  will  not  (I  do  not  say  sipj 
when  water  runs  hy  your  door,  but  not  live ! 


1 


THE  TEN  VIRGINS.  55 

2.  Because  whatever  comes  fromjelf^Jt^JaLfiYfir  ^"t*  r^^-  A 
man  can  do  nothing  from  himseit,  but  lus  last  end  is  self.  As  it 
is  with  waterworks,  they  rise  no  higher  than  the  spring.  Gen. 
XL  4.  "  This  Babel  I  have  built"  Dan.  iv.  30.  And  a  man 
that  has  but  common  grace  ;  look  as  by  virtue  of  that  grace  or 
gift  of  God  he  may  act  for  Grod,  because  it  came  from  Grod ;  so 
nature  and  sin  being  more  powerful  than  that  grace,  hence  he 
never  so  acts  for  Grod,  but  in  the  last  place  acts  for  itself,  as  Jehu. 
And  so  a  man  makes  hipiself  his  own  god. 

3.  Because  whatever  a  man  does  from  himself,  he  will  grow 
proud  of  it  Rom.  iv.,  "Not  of  works,  lest  any  man  should 
boast"  Hence  Joab  sent  to  David  to  take  the  city,  that  he 
might  have  the  crown.     This  robs  Christ  of  the  glory. 

4.  Because/whatever  work  is  not  done  by  virtue  of  the  Lord 
Jesus,  is  a  dead  work,  which  a  living  Grod,  and  a  living  Christ, 

^  and  a  living  Spirit  loathe.  Heb.  ix.  14,  "Sprinkle  your  con- 
sciences from  dead  works."  Deadly  works  are  sins ;  dead  works 
are  good  works  done,  but  not  from  the  principle  of  the  life  of 
faith,  but  life  of  nature.  Now,  as  conscience  is  the  principle  of 
the  life  ok  naiure,  so  Christ  is  the  priticlple^F  a  Clinstlan  life., 
CoL  Tli.  1 ;  John  v.  10-12.  For  it  i8'~nbt  sanctification  tbat-TS 
the  principle  of  life,  but  the  life  itself  that  flows  from  it  as  from 
the  union  of  soul  and  body.  The  soul  is  not  the  life,  but  the 
principle  of  it ;  hence,  as  soon  as  it  out,  the  body  is  dead ;  so, 
etc-  And  do  you  not  find  it  thus,  when  as  you  do  many  duties, 
how  tedious,  wearisome  are  they  ?  Yet  must  be  done  ;  this  is  a 
dead  work.  What  comfort,  what  peace  is  there  when  you  have 
done  them,  because  not  from  life  ? 

5.  Because  what  comes  from  self  comes  from  all  sin ;  it  is 
dipped,  and  dyed,  and  tainted,  and  poisoned  with  all  sin,  in  a 
manner.     "  Who  can  bring  a  clean  thing  out  of  an  unclean  ?  " 

6.  Because  when  a  man  will  act  from  himself,  and  not  suffer 
Christ  to  act  for  him,  he  will  not  have  Christ  to  reign  over  him ; 

Jkt  pulls  down  the  kingdom  of  God  that  should  be  within  him. 
For  when  a  man  professeth  Christ  is  King  of  his  church,  he  is 
now  a  King  in  name.  When  a  man  feels  an  impossibility  to 
rule  himself,  and  hence  desireth  and  chooseth  Christ  to  rule, 
now  Christ  is  a  King  by  choice.  When  the  soul,  after  this 
choice,  depends  on  Christ  for  what  he  chose  him  for,  and  the 
Lord  works,  now  Christ  is  a  King  indeed.  Now,  if  you  will  not 
have  the  Ix)rd  to  reign  over  you,  you  will  be  found  enemies  to 
the  Lord's  kingdom. 


56  THE     TAKAltl-E    OF 

Skctiov  V. 

Conclusion  5.  Iliinco  h  will  follow,  the  soul  is  U>  act  \vliollj' 
and  only  from  ibe  LfOrd  Jesus  Chriat;  and  whatever  fruits  of 
love  it  bIiows  to  Clirist,  to  bring  them  forth  from  ChrisL  Whid 
doth  not  only  concern  them  that  never  yet  knew  Christ,  and  yet 
pride  up  themselves  in  what  they  have  and  do,  but  those  thnt  be 
in  Christ  in  a  special  manner.  For  (John  iv.  2)  "  Every  branch 
in  me  that  brings  not  forth  fruit."  It  is  not  meant  of  one,  indeed, 
in  Christ,  for  he  shall  bring  forth  fruit;  but  every  branch — i.  e., 
by  outward  profession,  so  that  it  brings  not  forth  fruit,  but  ap- 
pears fair,  and  deceives  man —  God  "will  cast  away.  And  without 
me,  even  ye  (disciples)  can  do  noljiing. 

Qanl,  I.  How  is  the  fioul  to  act  from  Cliriat  only,  when  it 
hath  life,  cspeciully  the  elect? 

QutsL  2.  By  what  meaas  may  this  be  done,  to  get  and  keep 
this  chastity  ? 

Qutit.  1.  Uow  is  the  soul  to  act  from  Christ  alone  when  there 
is  aiutct ideation  within  ? 

Ans.  1,  If  the  soul  feel  no  power  to  act  from  grace  received, 
as  saints  somotimes  do,  cither  after  God's  deserting  them,  or 
their  forsaking  God  long,  or  after  some  hardenuig  sin.  then,  it  is 
dear,  the  soul,  in  this  case,  is  (though  not  in  a  way  of  careleaa- 
ness)  to  depend  upon  the  Lord  Jesus,  that  he  would  quicken  and 
help.  As  David,  after  his  gross  fall,  "  Lord,  create  in  me  a 
clean  heart;"  and  Is.  Ixiii.  17,  "Why  host  thou  hai'dened  our 
hearts  from  thy  fear  ?  O,  return  I  "  In  this  case,  the  soul  is 
not  to  bring  the  soid  to  God,  but  God  to  the  soul.  As  many  a 
Christian  can  not  prize  nor  love  the  Lord  nor  his  ways,  he  is  not 
to  say,  I  will  bring  my  soul  and  offer  it  him ;  but  look  to  the 
Lord  thai  he  would  raise  my  dead  affections  again.  As  the  cen- 
turion of  his  servant,  "  Speak  the  word,"  eiv.  Christ  marveled 
at  his  fiiith.  Men  think,  when  they  feel  nothing;,  that  they  must 
and  can  work  it  out,  and  hence  comes  one  of  these  tlirec  things. 

1.  Either  the  sou!  can  not  love  Christ  when  it  sees  such  laws 
it  can  not  submit  to.  And  hence,  a  Christian  once  said  to  m^ 
"  If  the  least  thing  was  left  for  me  to  do  of  myself,  I  could  not 
love  Christ  ;>but  now,  that  when  brought  low  and  can  do  noth- 
ing, he  brings  all  the  help  we  need.  This  makes  the  spouse  go 
to  the  bosom  of  her  husband.     I's.  cxvi.  6,  7.     Or  else,  — 

2.  It  can  not  do  it ;  for  corruption  in  a  saint  is  too  hard  for  his 
grace  ;  •'  I  am  but  a  child,  and  tliy  people  many."  1  Kings  i"  "" 
Hence  he  must  be  strong  m  the  Lord.     Or,  — 

3.  If  it  do,  it  never  haa  any  peace   in  what  it  does, 


1 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  57 

dnties  never  so  well  done.  Whereas  otherwise,  the  poorest  duty 
done  from  Christ,  (witness  Hob.  xi.  4,  5,)  as  a  child  begot  of  the 
father,  he  will  own,  but  other  children  not.  If  any  poor  tired 
heart  that  hears  me  this  day,  thou  hast  been  making  thy  brick, 
and  promises  and  tows  will  not  help ;  now  away  to  the  Lord  ;  if 
ever  help  now  it  is  when  most  helpless. 

2.  If  you  can  do  any  thing  savingly  good,  the  soul  is  bound 
DOW  (by  the  power  of  faith)  to  stir  up  itself  to  act,  though  not 
to  trust  to  it  alone  ;  for  sometimes  the  soul  hath  the  regenerate 
part  uppermost,  and  the  prevailing  Spirit  of  God,  (Ps.  xxi.  3,) 
which  comes  to  him,  and  gives  it  power  to  act  before  the  soul 
comes  to  it.  Now,  a  man  i^  boun4  tp  ^t^  because  it  is  from 
Christ  now.  Hence  Timothy  was  to  stir  up  the  gift.  2  Tim. 
L  6.  Hence  complained  of  them  Is.  Ixiv.  8,  "  None  stirs  up 
himself  to  take  hold  on  the  Lord."  A  man  must  stir  up  hi^^ 
self  to  believe,  as  well  as  other  graces ;  hence  ^^  the  kingdom  of  I 
heaven  is  taken  with  violence,"  and  though  corruption  is  stronger  I 
than  fjjtuxj  yet  grace,  assisted  with  the  Spirit,  is  stronger  than  I 
it,  which  is  never  quite  out  of  the  soul,  but  it  is  in  the  soi^LJ 
1  John  iv.  4,  "  Stronger  is  he  that  is  in  you."  And  it  is  said 
professedly,  "He  purgeth  himself,  and  keepeth  himself:  the 
evil  one  toucheth  him  not."  1  John  v.  18.  But  mark,  trust  not 
barely  to  this ;  but  when  you  do  this,  withal  remember.  Lord, 
I  can  not  hold  out  in  this  unless  thou  dost  help  me.  But  know, 
(Is.  xxvi.)  "  The  Lord  is  the  rock  of  my  strength."  And  "  K 
you,  by  the  Spirit,  mortify,"  etc.  Rom.  viii.  13.  Therefore, 
ever  hold  up  sails,  but  look  for  a  wind.  And  if  a  man  be  not 
to  do  this,  then  when  any  sinful  temptation  comes,  if  a  man  do 
not  find  the  Spirit  and  strength  ready  at  hand  to  help,  if  he  be 
not  to  stir  up  himself  against  it^  he  is  to  suffer  himself  to  be 
carried  down  by  it.  Hence  a  man  may  neglect  all  duties  a  long 
time,  if  he  do  not  find  the  Spirit  assisting,  if  so  be  a  man  must 
not  stir  himself  up,  and  so  (will  some  say)  a  man  may.  May  ! 
^\rhat  shall  I  say  to  such  a  sluggish  soul,  but  sleep  on  ?  But 
know  it,  tho  Lord  will  awaken  thee,  when  you  shall  say,  O  that 
I  had  improved  the  talent  I  had !  And  if  you  do  find  Christ 
in  such  a  condition,  know  it,  they  be  but  the  last  visits  of  Christ 
before  he  departs.  You  can  do  more  than  you  do,  and  the  Lord 
will  have  you  do  it. 

Object.  But  I  can  not  do  it  for  good  ends  without  Clirist. 
An$.  Yet  do  the  things  as  far  as  you  can,  else  if  you  owe  an- 
other a  debt,  and  will  not  pay,  because  not  for  a  goo<l  end,  that 
excuse  will  not  serve.     So  you  owe  the  Lord  your  lives,  your 
tpiritSy  your  abilities ;  lay  them  out  for  the  Lord,  though  evil  be 


in  them  ;  be  humbled  for  thnt.  Is  this  good  rcquiLiI,  to  Bay  yoa 
find  jouT  hearts  dead  in  prayer,  and  God  must  do  all,  and  there 
leave  it  ? 

3.  You  are  to  expect  and  look  for  power  from  the  Lord  Jenia 
in  the  use  qfjoieans,  all  known  means.  For  faith  fetches  nil 
from  Chnst ;  hence'we  must  go  thither  vrbcre  Christ  is  to  be 
found,  and  he  dwells  in  his  house,  in  his  ordinitncea  ;  therefore 
there  you  must  depend  upon  him.  As  it  is  with  a  merchant,  he 
wades  nut  over  the  sen  for  pearls,  but  gels  into  his  eliop,  and 
ihgre  he  sits  still ;  so  here,  (Matt,  xiii.,)  "The  kingdom  of  heav- 
en is  like  a  merchant  man."  Hence  you  that  know  you  can  do 
nothing,  being  under  a  spirit  of  conviction,  and  hence  do  nothing, 
under  a  spirit  of  sloth  and  neglect  of  means,  hy  virtue  of  aspirit 
of  presumption,  and  say,  Christ  must  do  all ;  1  say,  you  take  not 
the  right  course  for  the  Lord  to  help  you  in.     The  Lord  will 

I  never  be  a  slave  to  thy  slothful  thou  ehalt  be  like  a  shrub,  never 
^  lo'see  good  when  it  comes,  and  shalt  die  in  horror  with  this  —  O, 
I  might  have  done  more.  Hence  you  are  worse  than  the  other, 
that  think  if  a  man  fasts,  prays,  watches  against  his  distempers, 
mourns  for  want  of  Christ  and  grace,  and  follows  God  hard  here, 
he  is  a  legal  Christian.  Why,  these  are  bnt  his  own  works,  and 
this  is  not  living  on  Christ.  I  confess  bare  using  them,  or  trust- 
ing to  them,  is  not,  but  he  that  lives  not  on  Christ  in  use  of  means 
(these  and  all  other  means)  to  find  Christ,  or  enjoy  more  of 
Christ,  shaU  never  have  him.  Neither  do  I  know  what  turning 
God's  grace  into  wantonness  is,  if  this  be  not ;  and  under  a  lib- 
erty to  be  a  servant  of  corruption.  I  know  not  whether  it  bfl 
,     thus  with  any,  but  if  t  did,  I  would  pity  them.  .  J 

4.  If  the  soul  can  not  every  moment  live  on  Christ, — i.  e.,for  t 
every  particular  act  have  a  distinct  act  of  failh  j  for  this  can  not    ' 
be, — yet  every  fit  season  that  it  can,  it  ought  to  look  up  to  the 
Xiord  for  life  and  fresh  strength.     Pray,  as  it  is  every  fit  seaaon. 
And,  as  he  brings  forth  fruit,  so  he  goes  for  fruit  in  season.   Pa. 

L  3.     And  when  the  soul  dues  this,  Ihe  Spirit  of  the  Lord  h 
when  the  act  is  ceased. 

Now,  the  fit  seasons  are,  — 

1.  At  beginning  of  any  action,  as  prayer,  hearing,  readini 
Alt  the  time  a  man  is  in  his  journey,  or  in  his  work,  he  is  carri( 
on  by  llie  act  of  faith  at  first  setting  out.     The  reach  of  faitli  j 
ktng,  and  continues  uU  prayers ;  all  the  duty  tlironghoi 
of  failli  is  short.     Now,  Ihe  Lord  looks  to  his  pwple  accordina^ 
to  the  first. 

2.  When  our  act  begins  to  die,  as  Moses  lifted  up  his 
and,  when  they  were  heavy,  Aaron  and  llur  supported  thenq 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  59 

3.  When  a  man  feels  himself  strong,  now  apt  to  be  self-con- 
fident ;  now,  Lord,  for  an  humble  heart  I  And  thus  you  are  to 
live  on  Christ,  which,  if  done,  would  make  a  Christian's  life 
glorious,  and  give  infinite  content  to  the  heart  of  Christ  But 
here  is  the  misery  —  either  the  hearts  are  full  and  need  not,  or 
slothful  and  care  not  for  living  so.  That  truly  I  do  not  wonder 
to  hear  and  see  so  many  withering  trees,  as  though  blasted  by 
wrath,  because  you  fetch  not  all  out  of  this  stock  ;  and  Christ  is 
such  a  stranger,  because  you  are  so  seldom  with  him,  to  act  and 
bring  forth  fruit  to  him. 

Section  VI. 

Consider  of  the  means  to  act  from  Christ  Jesus ;  and,  indeed, 
herein  lies  the  skill  and  life  of  a  Christian  ;  and  this  is  the  com- 
plaint of  many  a  soul :  Christ  is  full,  and  he  is  not  for  himself,  but 
for  those  that  want,  and  I  come  to  him  when  I  want  it,  and  yet 
I  find  no  help ;  and  hence  many  are  brought  to  think  either  it  is 
in  vain  to  come  to  Christ,  or  else  I  have  no  faith  in  Christ.  I 
will  therefore  premise  these  three  things :  — 

1.  That  a  false,  double,  treacherous,  disloyal  heart  to  Christ 
can  not  expect  any  thing  it  comes  for  unto  Christ.  As  it  is  with 
a  woman,  that  though  others  do  not,  yet  her  husband  knows  she 
is  fallen  in  league  with  some  other  man,  he  will  be  strange  to 
her,  and  will  not  do  any  thing  for  her ;  John  ii.  tdt,  "  He  knew 
what  was  in  man  ;"  as  it  is  in  grafts  ;  James  i.  7,  8,  Let  not  a 
double-minded  man  think  to  receive  any  thing  at  the  hands  of 
the  Lord.  For  that  is  the  nature  of  man  under  the  power  of 
any  lust ;  it  makes  all  serve  it,  even  Christ  himself,  which  he  will 
never  do.  "  I  am  weary  of  your  new  moons,"  saith  the  Lord  ; 
and  you  fast  and  pray,  and  have  no  answer,  for  you  fast  for  de- 
bate ;  and  therefore  I  take  a  man  considered  as  broken  off  from 
the  power  of  lusts,  not  one  that  feels  himself  under  the  power  of 
it ;  for  such  a  one  may  be  delivered  from  it,  such  a  soul  as  can 
say.  Much  ado  have  I  to  feel  my  sin,  and  to  be  willing  to  part 
with  it,  but  now  I  am  ;  here  is  the  soul  I  speak  of. 

2.  That  the  Lord,  in  the  dispensation  of  grace  to  his  people, 
is  wholly  free  to  give  it  when  he  will ;  for  a  man  that  works  for 
his  wages  must  in  justice  have  his  wages  when  his  work  is  done, 
but  he  that  begs  for  his  living  must  be  content  to  stay.  We  live 
by  faith  and  free  gift,  not  by  yyorks  and  deserts,  and  hence  must 
wait  and  stay.  Micah  vii.  7.  Hence  let  any  man  think  sensibly 
to  receive  what  he  goes  for  to  the  Lord  Jesus  presently,  as  many 
feel  a  want  of  grace,  and  think  the  Lord  hath  promised  to  help  ; 


60  THE    TAItALLE    OF 

and  now  how  wouUI  it  mak<;  for  liia  honor  lo  givG,  but  fmil  it  no^  I 
and  Lcuce  grow  fuul  or  discouraged,  and  think  it  is  in  vaia  to  ' 
■eek  ?  No,  no  ;  Christ's  hour  is  not  yet  come,  when  you  think 
it  is  J  John  ii.,  "My  hour  is  not  yet  come ;"  and  hence  many 
get  nothing  because  they  lie  out  of  the  way  of  ttie  covenant,  vit^ 
to  think,  0,  the  Lord  owes  me  nothing,  and  I  deserve  the  con- 
trary. 

3.  That  no  man  is  to  look  to  receive  aU  that  which  lie  comes 
^   to  the  Lord  for,  but  only  bo  much  as  is  fit  lor  him.     A  man  may 

feci  much  straitneaa,  and  he  would  have  many  enlargements ;  he 
flnda  much  dcjidnees,  ftnd  lie  would  have  deep,  overflowing  affec- 
tions, and  he  comes  to  the  Lord  for  it,  and  the  Lord  givea  some ; 
doth  be  not  ?  Do  you  not  find  it  ?  Can  you  aay  you  seek  the 
Lord,  and  attend  on  the  Lord  in  vain  with  these  hypocritea  ? 
Matt.  iii.  14.  True,  but  yet  methinks  more  would  be  better 
How  do  you  know  that  ?  I  think  so,  that  it  would  be  more  foi 
his  honor.  You  think  so  i  then  it  seems  you  have  one  eye  more 
than  Cbridi,  and  that  he  is  very  careless  and  foolish  in  raiding 
his  own  honor.  0,  abhor  those  thoughts  1  be  gives  you  such  a 
coat  na  is  fit  for  you ;  such  a  sail  as  fits  your  boat ;  sucb  shoes  as 
fit  your  feet ;  Ps.  sxi.  5,  "  Honor  and  majesty  hast  thou  fitted 
for  him  :"  therefore  do  not  look  to  receive  any  more  than  is  fit 
for  you,  and  know  it,  that  is  best  for  you.  The  physician  pre- 
scribes thut  which  ia  fit,  not  that  which  ia  most  desired  of  the 
patients.  If  bo  will  not  accept  of  thid,  he  will  not  look  afler 
them.   1  Cor.  jii.  7,  8. 

4.  Think  not  to  got  any  thing  from  the  Lord  Jesus  with  ease; 
I  meoQ  tathe_^s])l;-pail.   It  hath  been  an  old  coniplnini,  I  go  to 
Christ,  and  fish  all  night,  and  can  catch  nothing;  and  why?  here 
is  the  cause  :  tliey  can  not  get  it  easily,  and  therefore  they  el  ~ 
not  get  it  at  all ;  yea,  there  it  is,  Heb.  xi.  6.     This  is  one  of  tl 
two  main  liandles  of  faith,  "  He  ia  rewarder  of  all  thedi  that  i 
igently  seek  him,"  not  negligently ;  and  hcnco  at  their  first  a 
version  how  doth  Christ's  fruita  overflow,  and  his  Jordan  t 
above  ita  banks  1  and  what  a  deal  does  a  Christian  gain,  yet  i 
atierward ;  so  in  time  of  great  trouble,  O,  ii  is  because  yon  M 
him  diligently  I     Therefore,  in  prescribing  means,  do  not  aay  H 
is  hard,  and  so  depart  as  those  did  on  the  ^'cry  sn 
John  vi.  CO. 


THB  TEK  TIBOmS.  61 

Section  VII. 

7%e  Means  are  these :  —^ 

Mums  1.  Labor  for  a  comprehending  knowledge  what  is  the 
lore  of  Christ  to  thee :  there  is  a  double  knowledge  of  Christ's 
bre. 

1.  That  he  loves  me ;  and  this  very  apprehension  fetches  in 
warmth  and  life  into  the  heart :  ^  In  th j  favor  is  life." 

2.  What  that  love  is,  and  that  in  all  the  dimensions  of  it ;  and, 
beloved,  this  is  that  which  fills  a  man,  (£ph.  iii.  18, 19,)  that  as  . 
it  is  wiUi  women  when  the  fullness  of  the  husband's  love  is  seen, 
it  knits  the  heart  invincibly  to  him,  and  makes  her  do  any  thing 
for  him ;  so  here.  And  as  we  say  of  trees,  if  the  tree  begins  to 
wither  and  die,  the  only  way  is,  not  to  cast  water  on  the  branches, 
to  pray  for  water  and  dews  from  heaven  on  them,  but  water 
the  root  Lo|reJsthe  next  root  of  all  grace ;  love  Christ,  and 
you  wiU  never  bel^teiry  of  doliig'for  Onrist ;  love  him,  and  he 
will  love  you.  Prov.  viii.  17.  Now,  what  kindles  love  so  much 
as  this  comprehending  knowledge  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  and  his 
love,  this  will  make  a  man  a  burning  beacon  of  love,  make  a 
man  melt  into  love,  which  is  as  strong  as  death ;  much  water 
can  not  quench  it  2  Cor.  v.  14,  ^'  Love  of  Christ  constrains." 
GaL  V.  6,  "Faith  works  by  love."  Faith  is  our  feet  where- 
by we  come  to  Christ,  love  is  our  hand  whereby  we  work  for 
Oiri8t;/now,  let  any  chirurgeon's  servant  come  to  a  chirurgeon 
with  a  broken  arm,  and  tell  him  he  can  do  no  work  for  him, 
therefore  desire  him  to  give  strength  to  do  it.  Come,  saith  he, 
let  me  heal  your  arm  first  No,  by  no  means  ;  let  me  first  do 
your  work,  that  so  yon  may  heal,  and  I  may  feel  my  arm  to  be 
whole.  It  can  never  be.  So  it  is  many  a  Christian's  course. 
Lord,  let  me  do  thy  work ;  and  hence  he  cries.  Lord,  give  me 
strength,  and  then  falls  to  do  it,  and  can  not  without  pain,  because 
his  love  is  broken.  Many  say,  I  will  go  to  Christ,  and  act  for 
Christ,  and  then  I  will  think  the  Lord  loves  me  ;  but  never  find 
it :  first,  see  and  comprehend  the  love  of  the  Lord.  And  truly, 
this  is  the  reason  why  no  heart,  no  strength  to  act  for  Grod,  unless  it 
be  in  a  wearisome  manner ;  and  why  ?  O,  love  is  out !  and  why  is 
that  out  ?  why,  it  is  not  comprehended  by  the  eye  of  faith,  it  is  de- 
spised by  some,  other  things  are  sweet  to  them,  or  it  is  forgotten  by 
others.  Men  remember  not  what  once  they  were,  and  what  the 
Lord  has  done ;  it  is  seen  a  little,  and  hence  a  little  life  and 
strength,  but  it  is  comprehended  by  few.  O,  sinful  times  I  O,  un- 
kind worid !  never  was  my  heart  so  dead,  saith  one ;  never  so 

VOL.    II.  6 


\ 


Blrailefled  and  shut  up,  sftith  another ;  never  eo  feeble  i 
lies,  sai ill  another ;  why,  70Q  see,  and  ta^ilc,  and  dip  of  this  loTC 
but  you  feed  not  licuruly,  abundantly,  on  iL     Never  di " 
think  so  little  of  this  love  ;  for  though  Christ  will  convey  ricli  gra 
to  kia  people,  yet  it  thsU  be  by  love.     Christiana  will  tx 
Christ,  and  when  ibcy  receive  aiid  feel  the  good  they  coc 
they  will  think  of  Cliriat's  love,  and  that  he  loves  them:  n 
coma  unto  the  Lord  Jesus ;  being  oncti  come,  know  be  w 
cast  thee  away,  (John  vi.  37  ;)  then  think  of  this  love 
here,  flret  feed  here,  and  you  may  act,  and  then  lie  Lord  i 
cotivcy  elrengih  and  power,  and  enable  you  hereunto.      1 
though  when  a  man  trusts  lo  bis  love,  as  Peter  without  failh,  It 
man  will  fall  because  he  trusta  to  an  ana  of  flesb  ;  yet,  w ' 
faJtlLegjtJoy » loKf ,  the  work  is  very  great.     Aa  a  father  has  1 
chilli  who  must  keep  at  home  with  him,  but  he  has  i 
steward  to  lay  out  that  estate  for  him  that  he  means 
Lim;  but  when  im  able  steward,  now  he  gives  his  son  ricbl}'^] 
So  here. 

Quest.  How  sliall  I  comprehend  it? 

Ant.  First,  the  apostle  prays  for  it.  Secondly,  see  what  it  i« 
by  his  description,  and  meditate  on  iL 

1.  The  breadth,  i.  e.,  the  same  love  wherewith  the  Lord  com- 
prehends all  saints,  as  Abraham,  etc. :  thou  art  as  dear  to  tlie 
Lord  as  ho  or  any  in  heoven  s  nay,  it  may  be,  did  cost  more  : 
not  a  cross,  not  a  mercy,  but  it  is  common  (for  subslance)  unlo 
all  sainl& 

2.  The  length,  from  eternity  to  eternity,  nothing  can  part, 
nothing  shall  part ;  all  other  things  are  but  summer  swallowg, 
that  build  with  us  for  a  time. 

3.  The  depth,  that  the  Lord  should  look  upon  tiee  when  in 
thy  pesl-bouse,  when  no  eye  pitied  thee,  when  as  low  as  the 
grave,  nay,  aa  low  as  hell,  nay,  lower ;  for  they  in  hell  would 
come  out,  tliou  wouldst  not.  Never  think  lo  see  what  infinite 
love  is,  till  thou  seesl  infinite  wrath. 

4.  The  highl,  to  be  aa  happy  angels,  and  more  so;  nay,  to  Ml 
all  one  witli  Christ,  and  in  Christ,  and  loved  with  the  same  lotifl 
Christ  ia.  John  svii.  23,  26.  ~ 

5.  When  thou  seest  it  thus,  yet  it  is  the  love  of  Christ  that 
passeth^^nowledgiiL  As  children  can  not  tell  how  parcTits  love 
them,  will  you  do  thus  ?  It  ia  with  many  Christians  as  it  is  with 
many  trees  ;  the  tree  is  good,  and  the  suit  ia  good,  and  rain,  dews, 
sun,  husbandman  good,  yet  it  begins  lo  die  ;  Ihen  now  nothing  ia 
wonting,  but  only  to  l>e  set  a  little  deeper,  that  it  may  take  more 
root  of  the  soiL     And  so  here,fthere  ia  nothing  wanting  in  many 


THE  TEX  VIRGINS.  63 

aCbristiaQ  but  to  be  set  a  little  deeper,  and  to  take  more  rooting 
in  the  Lord's  love.     Faith  roots  itself  in  Grod's  love,  and  now 
prospers  by  love.     Tte  eye  is  I5ut  little,  yet  can  comprehend  a 
ffligfaty  world  quickly ;   man's  mind  is  but  little,  yet  can  com- 
prehend, though  not  the  infiniteness,  yet  an  infinite.     If  the^g 
be  this  light  of  glory,  see  by  it  all  your  poor  sad  hearts  that  con- 
ceive nothing  but  terror  and  holiness  in  Grod ;  if  you  see  it  not, 
know  it  here  is  your  work  now ;  for  the  first  work  is  to  getJJEUth, 
!jhe^  to  get  love<  theS>  to  act  from  ^  taitn  by  loyel     Now,  the  Lord 
Iiath  wrought  thelSrat,  and.ihou  &R  busy  a  3oing  the  third  work, 
not  remembering  the  second. 

Means  2.  Content  not  thyself  with  feeling  a  want  of  supply, 
but  labor  to  feel  a  need  of  supply  from  the  Lord  Jesus ;  for 
many  a  Christian  feels  a  want  of  grace  from  Christ,  brokenness, 
etc,  sees  he  has  nothing,  and  is  sometime  by  fits  troubled  for  the 
want  of  it ;  but  he  can  be  well  content,  though  he  have  no  sup- 
ply, having  somewhat  else  to  ease  and  content  him  ;  he  feels  no 
need  of  supply,  so  as  he  can  not  be  without  it,  that  his  spirit  fails 
unless  the  Lord  Jesus  in  mercy  give  it,  and  therefore  must  have  it, 
there  is  a  necessity  of  it.  Hence  he  never  finds  supply,  and  won- 
ders at  it  why  it  is  so.  And  here  it  is,  here  is  his  wound,  and 
so  brings  up  an  ill  report  of  the  Lord,  saying,  he  is  loth  to  give  ; 
and  of  the  ordinances  of  the  Lord,  it  is  in  vain  to  seek ;  and  truly 
so  it  is  to  seek  so.  For  let  thy  condition  be  never  so  miserable,  ii* 
thou  feelest  a  need  of  supply,  the  Lord  will  make  bare  his  arm,  and 
worit  wonders  ;  bring  heaven  out  of  hell,  joy  out  of  sorrow,  and 
light  out  of  the  thickest  darkness,  and  floods  out  of  dry  ground,  (Is. 
xliv.  17, 18  ;)  when  the  ground  is  dry  and  parched,  no  moisture 
Ifffl ;  now  the  Lord  pours  out  water  on  this  soul.  Is.  xliv.  3  ;  Heb. 
iv.  ulL  Many  come  to  the  Lord  for  grace,  and  find  it  not  Me- 
thinks  I  hear  the  Lord  speaking  thus  to  his  people :  I  love  you 
dearly,  and  I  am  content  to  give  you  any  thing  you  need  ;  but 
you  do  not  need  my  grace,  my  Spirit,  my  presence  ;  i.  e.,  you  feel 
not  a  need  of  it,  for  if  you  had  it  now,  you  would  not  prize  it 
much,  nor  keep  it  long.  My  precious  grace  must  not  be  spilt. 
Many  know  their  wants  and  distempers,  and  know  there  is  no 
help  in  themselves,  and  see  all  fullness  in  Christ,  and  hence  come 
to  him,  but  find  none,  because  they  can  be  content  though  the 
Lord  deny :  no,  nor  never  shall,  unless  you  feel  the  woe  of  your 
wants,  that  your  spirit  fails  if  the  Lord  send  not  in  supply.  Is. 
Ivii.  16,  "I  will  not  contend,  lest  the  Spirit  fail."  Hence 
there  God  promiseth  to  dwell,  to  send  and  create  peace  and  com- 
fort ;  for  what  is  the  reason  that  Christians  at  first  beginnings 
seek  peace  and  mercy,  and  have  abundantly  then  ?     Why,  truly. 


I  WBB  long  time  before  I  had  anything;  but  when  my  spirit  Iiegao 
to  foil,  and  t  gave  all  for  gouc,  and  t^ould  oul  no  more,  now  th« 
Lord  helped  and  pilietl  me;  but  where  ore  those  comforts  and 
that  presence  of  the  Lord  now  ?  Truly,  now  you  think  the  worst 
is  past,  and  would  be  glnd  of  llie  life  of  Christ,  and  grace  from 
Christ ;  but  if  not,  you  have  a  little,  your  state  is  safe,  and  so 
can  lie  without  putting  yourself  to  a  necessity  of  iL  Is  it  not 
thus  ?  la  not  this  your  very  wound  ?  If  it  be,  for  the  Lord's  sake, 
then,  get  it  healed,  and  do  as  people  in  Christ's  time ;  those  that 
were  well,  and  had  not  desperate  diseases,  commonly  came  not  to 
him  ;  but  when  the  diseaae  wai"  desperate,  you  know  the  fame  of 
Christ  being  spread  abroad,  then  tbey  brought  their  sick  and 
laid  them  before  his  merciful  eyes,  then  they  looked  for  the  lay- 
ing on  of  his  hand,  or  a  word  of  his  mouth,  and  all  were  healed. 
So  do  you :  you  have  heard  of  the  fame  of  Christ,  and  seen  others 
humbled,  others  pardoned  ;  lay  thy  aick  soul  —  but  look  that  it 
be  sick  —  before  his  eyes,  and  so  look  for  one  word  of  his  mouth, 
as  the  woman  of  Canaan  ;  he  may  deny  for  a  time,  yet  she  must 
have  it,  and  the  Lord  will  say,  "  Be  it  unto  thee  according  to  tby 
fwth  ; "  not  according  to  thy  dcBerta  :  thou  wilt  have  it ;  I  must 
give  it ;  thou  diest  without  it ;  behold,  I  live  to  revive  thee, 
and  therefore  to  give  it.  You  come  to  prayer,  and  word,  and 
want  many  things,  but  find  them  not  O,  come,  therefore,  Lord  I 
I  must  have,  I  can  not  do  without  supply.  Not  but  that  a  Chris- 
tian must  wait,  and  bo  content  humbly,  but  not  carelessly. 
Therefore  think  within  thyself. — 

1.  What  is  there  that  I  need  but  this,  the  presence  of  God, 
the  life  of  God,  etc.  ?  Is  it  not  enough  in  heaven,  where  there  ia 
no  wealth  nor  comforts  else  ?  and  is  it  not  sufficient  now  ? 

2.  May  I  have  it  on  Ibis  condition,  (I  must  have  it,  I  am  ro- 
Bolved  not  to  go  witliout  it,)  Rev.  xiii.  17.  If  you  will  come, 
take  it.     Are  the  terms  so  sweet  'i 

3.  Do  wicked  men  thirst  more  and  more  ai^er  their  lusts,  and 
is  Christ,  and  his  grace,  and  bis  presence  no  better,  that  I  havi^ 
enough  of  them  quickly  ?  God  forbid  there  should  be  such  I 
heart 

4.  Doth  the  least  sin  bo  exceedingly  go  to  the  heart  of  u 
God,  and  shall  I  suffer  it  not  only  to  act  here,  and  tempt  hef 
but  remain  alive  here? 

5.  Is  not  the  Lord,  after  all  love  shown  me,  worthy  of  infiniM 
(not  a  little)  honor  from  me  ?  and  doth  he  deserve  all,  and  miii 
I  not,  shall  I  not  give  it  him  before  I  die  ?  It  musl,  it  shall  be  a 
Now,  when  here  you  feel  a  need,  know  it  that  you  are  at  tT 
rery  door  of  relief.     I  conceive  this  is  the  great  door  at  n' ' 


THE  TEN  yiROINS.  65 

Chrisl  enters  into  the  soul.  The  root  of  faith  —  i.  e.,  the  autho^ 
objeet,  and  foundation  of  faith  —  is  out  of  a  man's  self;  the  door  ' 
of  fiuth  which  opens  to  all  treasures  is  in  a  man's  self.  This 
door  is  not  an j  good  in  us,  for  then  we  should  have  somewhat  to 
boast  of;  nor  sin  in  us,  for  that  shuts  out  Grod  from  us ;  nor 
knowledse  of  want,  for  that  the  devils  have ;  but  sense  of  want, 
whidi  when  the  sidnts  have,  now  the  door  is  opened  for  the 
Lord  Jesus  in  all  his  fullness  to  come  in.  — * 

Now,  **  if  you  know  these  things,  blessed  are  jou  if  jou  do 
them." 

Section  VUL 

Uke  5.  To  all  the  churches  of  the  Lord  Jesus  here  planted  in  : 
these  western  parts  of  the  world,  to  maintain  your  church  chas- 
tity and  virginity,  you  have  a  name  of  it  abroad,  pure,  chaste, 
virgin  churdies,  not  polluted  with  the  mixtures  of  men's  inven- 
tions, not  defiled  with  the  company  of  evil  men ;  pure  ordinances, 
pure  people,  pure  churches,  which  is  the  cause  of  the  scoffs  and 
enmity  of  some,  but  of  the  desire  and  joy  of  others.  /  O,  if  there, 
bow  happy  I,  and  how  blessed  they !  ^ake  heed  you  do  not 
defile  yourselves  again.  jOpen  whoredom  is  too  gross,  too  shame- 
ful, to  yield  to  man's  inventions,  to  open  the  door  for  all  comers 
into  the  church  ;  but  take  heed  of  secret  whoredoms  and  depart- 
ing* from  Christ ;  for  think  of  this  speech  when  you  see  me 
dead,  that  of  all  the  churches  in  the  world,  the  Lord  Jesus  car- 
ries a  most  jealous  eye  over  these,  for  whom  he  has  done  such 
great  things  ;  and  I  know  it,  he  takes  exceeding  ill  your  secret 
wantonness  and  whoredoms  of  heart:  the  Lord  has  kept  you 
hitherto;  look  you  maintain  it,  for  you  may  be  soon  deflowered 
again.  Few  churches  retain  their  purity  long ;  aged,  gray-haired 
purity  is  seldom  seen.  I  will  tell  you  of  the  several  tempta- 
tions (some  at  least)  that  may  prevail  to  the  defilement  of  you. 

First.  Spiritual  defilement  is  forsaking  of  the  husband,  a  total 
secret  forsaking  of  Christ ;  for  here  is  the  temptation  to  it,  viz., 
God's  withdrawing  himself  in  his  ordinances  from  his  ordinances. 
For  three  sorts  of  temptations  make  men  fall  back. 

1.  By  persecution  ;  and  there  many  fall  (though  some  stand 
oat)  as  in  the  stony  land. 

2.  By  peace ;  and  here  many  fall  like  the  thorny  ground ; 
like  sailors  that  in  a  storm  at  sea,  every  man  is  ready,  and  will 
be  pulling  his  rope ;  but  when  a  calm,  then  go  to  their  cabins, 
and  there  fall  asleep,  and  here  many  fall  in  this  place,  and  others 
ttand  it  out. 

3.  By  the  Lord's  withdrawing  from  them,  as  those,  Mai.  iii. 

6* 


w 


HE   PARABLE   OF 


I 


14;  and  here  the  great  ones  fall.  Many  come  to  enjoy  ordi- 
nances, and  iierseculion  vexed  iliem  not ;  tlie  world  is  base,  it 
troubles  them  not;  und  tiiey  tliiiik  to  find  mucb,  but  do  not,  bttt 
the  Lord  withdraws,  and  lliey  con  get  no  good  ;  hereupon  their 
false  liearts  diacorer  themselves,  ibey  draw  back  from  God,  and 
lie  still ;  whereas  the  saints  cry  the  more  into  themselves,  and 
find  out  ibe  cause  of  it,  luid  then  the  Lord  helps  tliem.  Ii, 
Ixiii.  17.     0,  take  heed  of  this! 

1.  Shall  I  forsiikB  the  Loi-d,  that  has  dona  these  great  thingi 
for  my  soul  ? 

2.  Shall  I  now  do  it  after  I  am  80  near  heaven  ? 

3.  Shall  I  forsake  him  when  he  departs  from  me  but  for  ft 
lime,  it  mny  be,  when  he  bos  followed  me  when  I  departed  long 
from  htm  ? 

4.  Is  it  not  bell  to  die  without  him?  And  shall  it  not  be  death 
lo  live  without  him  ? 

5.  Does  he  depart  witlioul  a  cause?  He  has  no  cause  lo  fol- 
low me ;  I  have  all  reason  to  follow  him.     The  Lord  grant  you 

Secondly.  Secret  defilement  is  by  neglect  of  private  com- 
munion with  him ;  this  is  whorish  in  a  wife.  Here  is  stronger 
temptation  to  neglect  prival*  prayer  and  meditation,  partly  bj 
want  of  room,  partly  by  multitudes  of  businesses,  and  work,  and 
cares  hereabout,  that  being  weary  in  the  day,  sleepy  at  night, 
busy  in  the  morning,  prayer,  meditation,  daily  examination  an 
sent  away  as  I'aul  from  Felix ;  we  will  speak  with  these  at  some 
more  convenient  season ;  and  hence  straitness  of  heart  toward 
Christ,  and  no  means  lo  do  good.  0  beloved,  have  you  such  a 
husband  as  Christ  in  heaven,  that  loves  thy  looks,  thy  compnoy, 
thy  sighs,  thy  speeches,  and  will  you  neglect  bim  thus?  Wbatl 
no  love?  2.  Is  he  not  broken  with  this  whorish  heart?  3.  la 
that  speech  worth  any  thing  with  you,  "We  sbiU!  ever  be  witk 
the  Lord  "  ?  Doth  it  comfort  you  to  think  of  being  ever  with 
him,  nnd  now  neglect  him  ?    Where  are  your  hearts  ? 

TTtirdly.  Secret  defilement  i^  by  bringing  other  lovers  into  the 
same  bed,  the  same  heart  with  him  ;  and  here  the  temptation  to 
this  is  strong;  for  most  men  have  lost  and  sunk  in  their  estates, 
and  it  is  hard  to  live  lower  than  we  did,  and  this  is  a  grief,  and 
here  grief  for  loss  has  a  vctit  by  greediness  and  pursuit  aSwt 
more.  In  other  places,  men  had  a  very  comfortable  estate ; 
hence  rejoiced  in  what  they  had,  and  did  not  greedily  desire 
more ;  but  now  want  makes  men  hungry  and  greedy  ;  and 
when  a  man  has  thought  and  looked  about  him,  and  seen 
he  may  gain  by  his  hibor  of  many  acres,  by  his  goats  and  c 


\ 


THS  TXM  yiB0IN8«  67 

in  10  many  years  *-  now  he  casts  himself  into  the  world,  and 
also  will  not  forsake  Christ  utterly,  but  bring  both  into  the  same 
heart  Christ  shall  have  some  love,  some  desire,  but  the  world 
as  much,  and  so  the  heart  is  divided ;  and  hence  some  set  high 
prices  on  their  com,  commodities,  cattle ;  others  look  for  lai^ 
wages,  etc^  and  jet  Christ  too.  Hence  men  cry  out  of  the 
world  because  it  hinders  them  from  Christ,  and  yet  bring  it  into 
and  hug  it  in  their  hearts,  because  they  must  have  it  in  the  bed 
with  Christ  It  was  the  speech  of  one,  that  he  never  heard 
of  any  saint  in  Scripture  given  to  covetousness ;  some  to  one  sin,  ^ 
■Qme  to  another,  but  none  to  that  I  have  heard  of  Lot ;  but 
€rod  fired  him  out  of  his  estate  at  last,  and  that  is  all  I  would  say 
to  this. 

Fourthly.  Secret  defilement  is  by  decaying  in  love  to  those 
whom  Christ  loves,  and  those  are  his  saints,  and  temptation  is 
strong  in  this  place  to  this :  1.  Because  we  have  multitudes  of 
them;  even  gold  itself  being  so  common  as  to  pave  our  streets 
is  despised.  2.  Because  there  wants  a  common  enemy  to  drive 
them  together.  Take  several  men  that  never  knew  one  another ; 
jret  in  time  of  war  they  will  love  abundantly,  and  then  encourage 
one  another,  and  can  with  joy  lie  together ;  so  it  is  here.  Hence 
arise  your  petty  duels  and  jars  in  churches,  surmisings,  cen- 
snrings,  etc ;  and  the  reason  is  this :  there  is  little  love  to  saints, 
and  for  want  of  this,  men  shall  not  know  whether  you  be  Christ's 
disciples  or  no./  Be  thy  brethren  saints  or  not?  Bear  they 
the  image  of  Christ  or  no?  If  they  do  not,  why  not  convince 
them,  a^nonish  them  ?  And  if  they  will  not  ba_better,  away 
with  them.  If  they  be,  O  bear,  O  love,  O  tender  them,  as  thou 
idokest  tbe  Lord  Jesus  should  tender  thee.  And,  therefore,  let 
the  image  of  Christ  appear,  and  then  see  it,  and  then  love,  and 
then  no  more  breaches  will  follow.  If  not,  the  Lord  can  and 
wiU  soon  send  wolves  to  make  sheep  run  more  together. 

Fifthly.  Letting  a  new  generation  of  harlots  into  Christ's 
bosom*  I  mean  not  greatly  caring  for  posterity,  that  they  may 
know  and  serve  this  God,  for  afler  this  generation  is  past,  our 
children  are  to  follow,  and  it  is  very  rare  that  they  prove  right, 
yet  it  may  be  so.  Hearken,  therefore,  you  parents;  if  God 
brooght  you  over  for  this  end,  and  if  they  never  knew  God, 
what  a  sad  thing  it  would  be  I  or  if  they  be  brought  forth  to 
pull  down  the  temple  of  God !  O,  therefore,  1.  Be  careful  of  a 
pioos  education  of  them  in  schools,  in  private,  and  take  some 
course  for  that  end  before  others  come  over;  this  will  draw 
them.  2.  O,  make  many  prayers  for  them.  8.  Set  faith  awork 
in  God's  promise;  as  he  said  he  would  not  abate  the  Lord 


Is  THE  PARABLK   OF 

(though  he  gave  it  him  in  ninety-nine)  of  llmt  one.  Leave  in 
record  what  llie  Lord  has  done  for  you,  ihnt  ihe  Loi-d  may  be 
with  them,  and  that  all  Ihesc  i-liurclics  may  be  the  glory  of 
Christ,  and  then  you  shall  enter  into  the  bride  chamber  of  (be 
Lamb  at  last. 


CHAPTER    Vm. 

A  CBHlSTJAirS  DUTT  OF  BEINO  COKSTASTLY  AND  CONTINnALLy 
READY  TO  MEET  CHBIST,  AND  TO  ENJUY  COMHUHION  WITH 
UIM, 


^M  to  put  thi 

^H  tade  froi 


2.  »  Tooi  ikeir  Lamps." 

Much  duAl  is  raised  and  mueh  dit^pute  is  made,  espcdally  by 
Popish  inlflrpretere,  what  th«  lampa,  what  the  oil.  whnt  the  Tca- 
Bela  shontd  bo.  The  general  conceit  of  most  of  tliem  is,  that  by 
oil  ta  meant  good  works,  and  by  lamps  faith,  answerable  to  tli^ 
own  conceit,  that  not  faith  but  good  works  chiefly  save;  whereas, 
if  we  t»nsider  the  thing  rather  e  contra,  that  by  lighted  lamp* 
are  meant  good  works  or  elernal  shining  profession,  necord- 
ing  to  that  of  Christ,  (Malt,  v.,)  "  Let  your  light  so  shine  be- 
fore men,"  etc. ;  and  that  by  oil  should  be  roennt  fiiith,  because 
it  is  inward,  and  Js  the  nourishment  of  works  and  outwanl  ]iro- 
fession.  And  in  this  sense  some  of  our  divines  do  take  this 
Scripture,  and  the  Rhemitits  likewit^e,  who  underetind  by  lamps 
lighted,  good  works ;  by  oil,  a  good  intention.  To  whieh  it  is 
answered,  (by  Cnrtwright,  that  burning  and  shining  light  of  our 
times,)  that  rather  by  lamps  lighted  is  to  be  understood  "watch- 
ful minde,  always  lifted  up  in  nllcnding  for  the  coming  of  Christ," 
according  as  it  is  verse  13.  And  I  doubt  not  but  this  is  one 
thing  aimed  at,  that  they  "  took  their  lamps ;"  i.  e.,  were  watch- 
ful for  Christ's  coming.  But  when  I  weigh  other  circumstances, 
methinks  there  is  somewhaJ.  else  more  plainly  and  principally 
intended,  of  which  I  scarce  read  any  divine,  bat  he  gives  a  hint 
of — viz.,  that  by  Ughted  lamps  and  taking  of  Ihem  is  meant 
nothing  else  but  the  readiness  of  the  chnrches  to  meet  and  to 
have  fellowsliip  with  the  Lord  Jesus.     And   my  reasons   are 

Because  tlie  Lord  Jesus,  to  leoeh  his  people  watehfulness,  and 
to  put  them  to  a  narrow  soaruh  of  themselves,  borrows  a  simili' 
tade  from  the  custom  of  those  times  wherein  their  marriagee 


THE  TBM  VIROIX8.  69 

wnv  celebrated  in  the  night ;  and  hence  the  virgins,  (the  onl^r 

cydren  of  the  bride  chamber,  and  some  think  their  number 

oerer  exceeded  ten,)  being  to  walk  out  in  the  night,  took  their 

Itmpe;  and  when  thej  had  kindled  their  lamps,  (usnallj  the 

het  thing  that  is  done,)  now  they  are  ready  to  go  oat ;  and  this 

is  that  which  Christ  aims  at. 

2.  Luke  xiL  35,  ^  Let  jour  loins  be  girt  and  lamps  burning.'' 
It  is  CTident  that  thereby  is  meant  nothing  else  but  readiness'  to 
meet  the  Lord  whenever  he  comes ;  for  when  loins  are  girt,  then 
one  is  fit  for  travel ;  but  seeing  it  is  in  the  night,  hence,  lamps 
must  be  burning  too. 

Z.  Because  it  is  said  plainly,  (verse  10,)  when  their  lamps 
were  kindled  again,  "  They  that  were  ready  went  in."  I  know 
the  word  is  called  a  lamp  for  our  feet,  (Ps.  cxix. ;)  and  so  by 
lamps  may  be  meant  minds  enlightened  and  kindled  b^  the  word. 
The  eminent  profession  and  excellences  of  the  church  is  like  a 
lamp,  (Is.  Ixii.  1,)  and  more  particularly  may  be  here  in- 
cluded and  aimed  at ;  but,  in  this  verse,  lamps  are  spoken  of  in 
general,  including  light,  oil,  vessels ;  and  hence  I  give  this  gen- 
eral interpretation  here,  intending  particulars,  if  need  be,  after- 
ward ;  so  that  now  shall  only  raise  this  point. 

Section  IL 

IhcL  That  all  those  that  are  espoused  unto  Chnst  ought  to 
be  in  a  constant  and  continual  readiness  to  meet  Christ,  and  to 
have  immediate  communion  with  Christ. 

A  woman  may  be  espoused  to  another,  and  yet  she  may  be 
sometimes  not  ready  to  meet  him  ;  her  foul  apparel  ia.(MDb  So.. 
here,  therefore^it  is  not  enough  to  be  espoused  unto  Christ,  but, 
being  espoused,  now  you  ought  to  be  in  a  continual  readiness  to 
clasp  the  Lord  in  your  arms,  and  to  lay  your  heads  in  his  bosom 
in  heaven.  This  is  commanded  by  Christ.  Matt.  xxiv.  44. 
This  was  the  mighty  power  of  God's  grace  in  Paul,  when  others' 
were  weeping  to  think  of  his  bonds  —  "  Why  do  you  break  my 
heart  ?  I  am  ready  not  only  to  be  bound,  but  to  die  for  Christ ;  *' 
and  so,  doubtless,  to  be  with  Christ ;  much  more  ready  to  meet 
Christ  whenever  he  shall  come  —  ready  to  welcome  death  — 
much  more  ready  to  welcome  Christ.  Acts  xxi.  13.  This  also 
is  the  end  of  John's  ministry.  Luke  i.  17.  To  make  ready  a 
people  prepared  for  the  Lord ;  to  meet  with  Christ  on  earth. 
Now  he  is  gone,  our  work  is  to  preparejt  people  to  meet  the 
Lord  in  heaven.  Hence  this  is  put  in  as  the  difference  between 
vessels  of  wrath  and  vessels  of  glory.    The  one  are  fitted  for 


?  thoM 


THE    P  Alt  ABLE   OF 

deatniction,  (he  others  are  fitted,  prepared,  or  miule  ready  fo^^^ 
glory ;  and  the  glory  of  a  Cliristian  is  chiefly  lo  enjoy  fellow* 
ahip  imnmdiatL'ly  witli  Jesus  Christ.  There  is  many  a  bduI  dea 
unto  Christ,  and  espoused  to  him,  and  has  his  heart  affected  ti 
think  of  the  good  time  that  is  coming,  when  we  shall  ever  Bi 
with  the  Lord ;  but  ask.  Are  you  ready  yet  for  to  go  to  hiq 
though  it  be  through  lires,  waters,  thorns,  sorrows,  death  iteolff 
Who  can  eay  yes  ?  But  (say  men's  hearts)  shut  the  Lord  014 
a  little  longer,  let  not  the  door  stand  open  yet ;  yet  this  mast  be* 
And,  therefore,  for  explication's  sake,  let  me,  1.  Show  you  wbeqi 
the  soul  ii)  in  readiness  for  the  Lord  Jesus.  2.  The  reasons 
why  there  must  be  a  continual  readiness. 

Section  m. 

Quest.  Wlien  is  the  soul  in  readiness  to  enjoy  Clirist  ? 

An*.  As  there  are  four  things  which  m^e  a  Christ 
ready,  so  this  readiness  consists  in  four  things  [contrary. 

].  That  which  makes  a  Ctiristiau  unready  for  him  ai 
strong  fears  and  jealousies,  and  damping  doubts  of  the  love  of 
Christ  to  liim.     The  soul  happily  has  made  choice  of  him,  is 
content  with  him,  melts  into  wonderment  and  love  to  think  that 
he  should  love  him.     What,  me  ?     And  has  Clirist  writ  him  on 
Ilia  heart  and  on  the  palms  of  his  hand?  ?     "  But  Israel  saith. 
My  God  hath  forsaken  me,  my  God  hath  forgotten  me."     Ib. 
xUx.  14.    Is  it  possible  ?     Is  it  credible  ?     One  that  has  been 
so  vile,  one  that  still  has  such  a  heart,  for  him  to  set  his  heart 
on  me  ?     Surely  no.     Hence  the  soul  is  afraid  to  die,  and  de- 
sires too  much  to  live  still ;  and  the  more  he  thinks  of  that  time, 
and  blessedness  of  following  the  Lamb  wherever  he  goes,  the 
more  he  fears  and  sees  lliis  may  possibly  never  be  my  portion. 
There  may  be  some  falseness  in  my  heart  toward  him  that  I 
never  yet  saw ;  some  secret  knot  that  was  never  yet  unloosed, 
and  hence  not  yet  ready.     Hence  many  a  Christian  saith,  If  I 
had  a  little  more  asauraucc,  let  him  come  when  he  will.     Thus, 
some  think,  it  was  witli  Hezekiah,  who,  though  he  nnlkcd  befora 
God  with  a  "  perfect  heart,"  yet  bitterly  complained  that  he  was 
cut  off.     la.  xsx>-iii.  per  toliim.     So  ihereiore,  then,  the  soul  i| 
ready  and  prepared  for  him,  when  be  has  some  comfortable 
auronce  of  the  love  of  Christ  toward  him,  that  it  can  say,  If 
livo,  he  loves  me ;  though  he  kills  me  by  death,  yet  I  know 
he  loves  me  ;  nay,  then,  he  loves  me  most  when  lie  ]i 
to  my  sins,  and  lo  my  sorrows  too.     And  ihereiore 
as  one  ready  to  receive  a  prince,  Now  let  him  come  lo  iiie,_ 


THB  TEN   VIRGINS.  71 

send  for  me  when  he  will.  Why  so  ?  "  Who  can  separate  me 
fnxn  the  love  of  Christ?"  Rom.  viii.  35.  That  look  tis  it  is 
with  a  soldier  that  is  to  go  to  war,  where  many  bullets  and 
arrows  are  like  to  faU  about  him,  and  him  while  he  has  no  armor 
on :  call  him  to  the  captain,  and  he  will  say  he  is  not  ready  yet ; 
but  when  he  has  his  armor  on  of  proof,  and  such  armor  that  he 
knows,  let  him  receive  never  so  many  wounds,  yet  he  shall 
ffscape  with  his  life,  and  triumph  with  his  captain  afl^rward. 
Now,  give  him  but  his  watchword,  he  is  ready ;  though  never  so 
weak,  yet  I  am  sure  I  shall  escape  with  my  life,  nay,  not  so 
much  as  hurt  So  a  Christian  wanting  his  assurance  wants  his 
armor;  he  is  weak,  and  powers  of  darkness  will  assault  him, 
and  he  is  slain  by  them  now  he  is  unready;  but  if  assured, 
though  weak  and  feeble,  he  is  now  at  Christ's  watchword ;  I 
know  I  shall  live ;  I  may  fall,  but  I  shall  rise  again  ;  this  puts 
courage  and  spirit  into  a  Christian.  Dan.  iii.  17,  18  ;  Heb.  xi. 
3.1.  Others  were  tormented,  (and  so  ready,)  "  not  accepting  de- 
liverance." Why  so  ?  To  "  obtain  a  better  resurrection,"  which 
they  are  said  to  see  by  the  eye  of  faith.  And  this  was  by  poor, 
weak  women.  Therefore  labor  for  this,  else  not  prepared.  The 
Lord  would  have  his  people  look  death  and  dangers  in  the  face, 
and  triumph  in  sorrows,  and  not  faint-hearted,  (which  can  not  be 
done  without  this,)  that  the  world  may  see  that  there  is  more  tlum 
men  in  them.  2  Cor.  iv.  16-18,  and  v.  1.  Who  would  be  with- 
(lut  this?  Yet  may  we  not  complain,  as  Christ  of  his  disci- 
plff j«,  *•  O  foolish  and  slow  of  heart  to  believe  all  that  is  written," 
s*i  many  promises  yet  not  assured,  so  many  experiences  yet  not 
establu«hcd,  and  therefore  not  yet  prepared  and  ready  for  the 
cfiming  of  the  Lord  ?  A  man  that  has  a  fair  estate  and  house 
hf'fallen  liim,  so  long  as  he  is  in  suit  for  it,  dares  not  dwell  in  it, 
but  makes  a  shift  where  he  is  ;  but  then  he  is  ready  when  quiet 
{Misjcssion  is  given  him.  So  get  the  Lord  to  pass  sentence  for 
assurance  of  your  everlasting  habitation,  then  are  you  ready  to 
dwell  therein. 

2.  Then  a  man  is  unprepared  for  the  Lord  Jesus  his  coming, 
while  he  wants  affections  suitable  to  the  majesty,  and  according 
to  the  worth  and  love  of  the  Lord  Jesus.  Su[)[)Ose  a  woman 
knows  her  husband's  love ;  yet  if  she  have  lost  her  love  to  him, 
or  if  she  love  him,  it  is  only  as  she  loves  another  man,  not  ac- 
cording to  the  wortli  of  her  hiisbaod's  person,  or  the  grontncss 
of  his  love,  is  she  tit  now  to  ap[>ear  before  him,  when  no  heart  to 
receive  him  ?  So,  although  you  question  not  Christ's  love  to  you, 
and  thank  God  you  doubt  little  of  it,  yet  where  is  your  heart  ? 
your  love  to  him  ?     Have  you  not  lost  your  love,  your  first  love, 


78  THE  PARABLE   OK 

OF  second  love  ?  If  fou  have  love,  is  it  not  divided  to  other 
things,  a8_wtfejibUd,iytnd9,  hopea^-Qt-prousion  for  them,  and 
too  much  care  hereupon  tor  tbtit  ?  Or  if  yoii  do  love  him,  it  is 
with  a  eamal  love ;  he  is  no  more  than  a  lust  hath  had,  and  itmaj 
be  not  so  much ;  it  is  witKa  cold  love  ;  now  you  are  unfit  for  him ; 
hence  the  Lord.  (Luke  xxi.  34,)  "  Take  heed  your  hearts  be  not 
overcharged."  1  PeL  iv.  7.  Now,  therefore,  then,  the  soul  is  pre- 
pared fo  meet  Christ,  when,  if  the  soul  has  lost  its  afiectiona,  it  re- 
covers them  out  of  the  hands  of  all  creatures  that  stole  them  away 
from  Christ;  and  hence  David  prays,  "0,  spure,  tliat  I  may  re- 
cover my  strength :"  and  when  it  breaks  out  with  such  love  to 
Christ  as  is  fiuing  for  him,  (2  Tim.  iv.  8,)  (here  is  the  righleooa 
Judge  ready  lo  give  the  crown,  when  Christ's  appearing  is  loved; 
L  e.,  they  are  so  taken  with  him,  as  that  they  love  the  looks  of 
him,  it  would  rejoice  my  heart  to  see,  which  shall  make  others 
tremble  to  behold  him.  0,  it  must  be  a  dear  love,  a  spring  (rf 
running  love  without  measure,  for  this  is  the  difference  between 
affections  of  saints  and  hypocrites  to  Christ — the  one  arises  like 
a  morning  dew,  which  is  soon  licked  up  by  the  sun,  (IIos.  vi.  4-,) 
the  heat  of  affections  after  other  things  Ucks  it  up  I  But  the 
love  of  sninta  to  Christ  is  like  a  spring  which  rises  to  everlasting 
life ;  a  spring  is  but  little,  but  yet  the  farther  it  goes,  the  wider 
it  is,  till  at  last  swallowed  up  in  the  sea,  and  there  is  no  measure 
of  water :  so  saints  have  but  a  little  love,  but  the  longer  they 
live,  the  more  enlarged  for  Christ,  and  there  is  no  measure,  but 
all  is  too  little  ;  they  never  can,  never  do  love  enough  ;  so  that 
look,  as  it  is  said  in  another  case,  (Fs.  cii.  13,  14,)  "  It  is  time 
for  thee  to  build  up  Jerusalem,"  i.  e.,  to  return  to  thy  people  in 
thy  ordinances,  for  "  they  love  the  stones ;"  so  then  it  is  time 
for  Christ  lo  come,  and  then  the  St  and  set  time  is  come  for  a 
people  to  meet  with  Christ  out  of  ordinances,  when  the  set  time 
is  come  when  they  love  ordinances,  and  love  Christ  much  more. 
When  a  man  Is  gone  beyond  sen,  and  all  his  friends  and  estate 
are  at  home,  they  long  for  him,  and  he  ia  lefl  among  enemies : 
why  comes  he  not  to  them  ?  why  send  they  not  for  him  ?  Why, 
they  know  he  is  sickly,  and  can  not  live  on  the  diet  of  the  coun- 
try ;  hence  he  is  unfit  to  come ;  but  when  once  that  is  come  to 
pass,  that  he  can  live  only  on  it,  then  he  is  ready  whenever  they 
send.  So  when  men  can  live  with,  and  be  content  alone  with 
Christ  and  his  love,  now  they  are  fiL  With  what  face  can  a 
man  appear  before  Christ  when  he  requires  nothing  but  love,  and 
he  baa  not  that  E. 

3.  Then  a  man  is  nnreaJy  for  Christ  while  he  neglects  tJic 
work  of  Christ;  for  suppose  a  man  has  some  inward  love  to 


THE   TEN    VIHGlKS.  78 

Christ,  jet  oeglects  and  has  no  heart  to  do  the  work  of  Christ; 
he  is  as  jet  no  more  fit  to  meet  Christ  than  a  steward  who  has 
had  mach  betrusted  him,  to  improve  for  his  lord's  use,  and  he 
has  let  ail  seasons  go  wherein  he  might  have  traded  for  him,  and 
gained  Mnnewhat  to  him.     How  can  he  appear  before  him  whgp 
no  fair  aocoant  is  to  be  seen  ?     So/the  I^ord  has  betrusted  thee  I 
with  manj  talents,  times,  strength,' means,  etc.,  and  jou  are  not  ^ 
lords,  bn|  stewards  of  all  these.     Now,  do  jou  not  let  manj  fair 
seaaoos  and  wmds  blow  bj  ?     You  have  (if  espoused  to  Christ) 
everj  man  some  work.    Now,  how  can  jou  stand  before  Christ 
if  that  be  neglected  ?     O,  thus  it  is  with  manj  Christians ;  hence 
those  md  alarms  of  conscience,  and  shaking  of  Grod*s  Spirit,  after 
manj  loose  dajs  dipped  in  some  good  duties.     What  doat  thou  I 
that  others  do  not  that  never  shall  see  Gkxi's  face  in  heaven  ?  ,      \ 

Now,  therefore,  then  the  soul  is  readj  for  the  Lord,  when  it 
is  dailj  at  it,  finishing  God's  work:  hence,  (John  xvii.  5,)  '^I 
have  finished  m j  work ;  now  glorif j  me."  Christ  has  given  us 
our  lives'  work,  daj's  work,  everj  hour's  work ;  for  Christ  has 
ever  emplojment :  now,  though  a  soul  maj  live  long,  and  can 
not  finish  its  life's  work,  jet  if  it  finish  its  daj's  work,  of 
hour's  work,  it  maj  have  comfort  then  if  the  Lord  should  come. 
That,  k)ok,  as  it  is  with  a  mariner  when  he  has  his  freight ;  now 
let  the  wind  come  to  drive  him  out  of  the  haven,  he  is  readj  to 
depart:  so  here,  (2  Pet,  i.  8-11,)  "If  je  do  these  things  and 
abound,  an  open  entrance  shall  be  ministered  unto  jou  ; "  i.  e., 
when  a  Christian  is  ever  acting  for  Christ,  and  adding  one 
grace  to  another  in  his  course,  then  he  is  so  readj  that  an  open 
entrance  is  made  for  him :  therefore  look  after  this.  It  is  withj 
most  professors,  commonlj,  as  it  is  with  a  woman  that  loves  her  * 
husband,  and  begins  to  dress  herself,  but  so  much  business  to  do, 
that  she  doth  it  but  bj  starts  ;  hence,  call  her  never  so  late,  she 
will  saj  she  is  not  jet  readj,  she  has  so  much  to  do  she  can  not : 
so  it  is  here.  Or  as  it  is  in  a  house  where  all  things  are  in  a 
lumber,  and  manj  things  wrapped  up  and  put  into  holes  ;  so  long" 
as  ail  things  be  in  a  lumber,  there  is  no  readiness.  So  manj  a 
soul  has  a  heart  fit  to  receive  Christ,  but  all  things  are  in  a 
lumber,  in  a  confusion,  out  of  place  and  order,  and  hence 
not  jet  readj  to  entertain  Christ ;  but  when  this  work  is  done, 
then  readj.  O,  betimes,  do  this  work ;  set  things  to  right  in 
jour  souls. 

4.  Then  a  man  is  unreadj,  when,  having  done  his  work,  he 
grows  pufied  up  with  it ;  for  let  all  the  three  former  be  wrought 
in  the  soul,  if  now  the  soul  be  puffed  up,  thinks  highlj  of  itself, 
attribates  any  thing  to  itself;  as  he  said  in  another  case,  "  Thej 

VOL.  II.  7 


THE    PABABLE    OF 

loo  taaaj  for  the  Lord ;  "  so  he  is  too  big  for  the  Lord.  And 
we  ahall  find,  it  is  pretty  easy  lo  be  mean  in  our  own 
nyM,  after  we  have  been  indeed  careleaa  and  vile  before  the 
Lord;  but  when  the  Lord  has  mightily  assisl«d,  enlaj'ged,  as- 
Bured,  enabled,  comforted,  quickened,  now  to  be  as  nothing,  this 
is  difficult.  Hence  Enos  on  hia  death  bed  had  thia  temptation 
of  meriting.  When  llezektah  was  siek,  he  was  cast  down  ;  but 
when  well,  and  God  gave  him  great  treaeures,  his  heart  wu 
lifted  up ;  now  he  was  mifit.  Now,  therefore,  when  a  Christtam  J 
is  ready  to  give  all  to  free  grace,  and  to  adore  that,  now  is  hs  I 
ready  for  tlie  Lord.  Ph.  cviii.  1,  "  My  heart  is  prepared,  I  will 
eing  and  give  praise."  Giod's  last  end  is  to  bring  the  soul  to  thfi 
praise  of  the  riches  of  hb  grace,  not  only  to  enjoy  God  as  Adam. 
Now,  the  great  reason  why  Chriat  comes  not  to  his  people  pres- 
ently after  they  are  espoused  to  him,  it  is  to  make  them  ready  to 
Utain  that  end.  Hence  he  leaves  sin,  temptations,  sorrows,  de^ 
eertioDS,  on  purpose  that  they  may  at  conclusion  look  back  and 
see,  if  ever  saved,  pardoned,  it  is  grace.  Now,  therefore,  when 
the  soul  is  brought  to  do  this,  when  he  has  this  rent  in  his  hand, 
now  the  Lord  is  ready  to  receive  him  and  it  too,  and  he  is  pro- 
pared  for  the  Lord.  He  that  baa  not  his  rent  ready,  himself  is 
not  as  yet  at  all  ready  to  meet  with  and  see  bis  landlord.  So 
that  you  tbiuk  you  boast  not,  O,  the  Lord  sees  you  do,  or  hare 
not  hearts  so  enlarged  toward  grace  as  you  should,  it  is  certain 
you  are  yet  unready  iheu  ;  but  when  empty,  and  poor,  and  cast 
down,  and  makest  an  iii6nite  matter  of  a  small  sin,  and  setteat  a 
high  price  on  a  liitle  love,  much  more  on  infinite,  now  you  are 
prepared ;  hence  David  falls  a  prmeing  when  near  to  death,  and 
the  Lord  near  to  come  to  him. 


I 


Section  IV. 

Reaton  1.  The  law  of  respect  and  love  retjuires  thia  of  v 
"When  Peter  would  express  his  love  unto  Christ,  (Luke  xxii.  33,)^ 
he  professes  he  was  "  not  only  ready  to  go  to  prison,  but  to  die  I 
with  him."     Christ  lias  poor  respect  and  love,  if  men  will  not  ai 
much  aa  he  always  ready  to  receive  him.     It  certiunly  arguec 
careless  heart  that  ahghts  Chriat,  that  ia  not  ever  prepared  1 
receive  CtiriaL 

2,  Because  the  time  of  Chriat's  coming  is  then  when 
look  for  him.  Verse  13.  Hence  a  Christian  ought  to  be  ew 
ready  to  receive  him.  Many  of  eminent  parts,  when  the  chure 
had  most  need  of  them,  then  are  cut  down.  Alany  at  1 
conversion,  before  they  or  others  almost  could  lell  what  to  n 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  75 

Off  them,  the  Lord  hath  cropped  them  in  the  bud.  Men  find 
their  hearts  unfit  and  unready  ;  they  think  hereupon  that  here- 
after they  shall  get  their  hearts  into  better  order  and  tune  when 
these  businesses  are  over,  but  yet  will  live  at  liberty  a  little  while. 
Why,  then,  it  is  most  likely  is  the  Lord's  time  of  coming,  even 
now,  when  they  think  least  of  it.    Luke  xii.  40. 

3.  Because  the  Lord  has  set  apart  every  one  that  is  espoused 
to  the  Lord  Jesus,  only  for  the  fruition  of  Christ,  and  use  of 
Christ.  1  Cor.  iii.  ult.y  "  You  are  Christ's,  and  Christ  is  Grod's." 
A  woman  that  is  not  chosen,  nor  set  apart  for  the  fellowship  oT 
a  prince,  she  may  go  how  sKe  will,  and  do  what  she  will,  any 
base  drudgery  work  ;  but  she  that  is  chosen  to  be  next  unto  him, 
and  only  to  behold  and  love  him,  she  is  not  to  plead  she  has  so 
much  business  to  do,  and  so  many  friends  to  speak  with,  that  she 
can  not  make  herself  ready ;  she  is  set  apart  for  a  better  person, 
and  for  more  noble  employment.  So  here,  men  of  the  world, 
not  loved  of  Grod,  nor  chosen  and  set  apart  for  him,  may  do  what 
they  will ;  but  when  the  Lord  has  chosen  and  set  you  apart  of 
purpose  for  this  end.  Ephes.  i.  4,  "  Chosen  to  be  holy  before 
him  in  love ; "  i.  e.,  to  stand  ever  in  his  presence  before  him, 
with  a  spirit  of  dearest  love  unto  him.  Hence  the  Lord  has 
taken  the  care  of  all  things  else,  (1  Pet.  v.  7,)  that  we  might 
mind  and  do  this  thing ;  if  in  danger,  he  will  deliver ;  if  in  want, 
he  will  provide  ;  if  weak,  he  will  strengthen ;  only  now  be  ready 
for  the  Lord.  Ps.  xlv.  10,  "  Forget  thy  country  and  thy  father's 
house,  so  shall  the  Lord  desire  thy  beauty."  You  are  not  now 
free  to  love  and  follow  whom  you  please ;  the  Lord  has  bound 
you  to  himself  by  love,  and  you  have  bound  yourself  by  promise 
to  the  Lord  again.  Therefore  now  a  Christian,  after  once  es- 
(loused  to  Christ,  is  better  than  all  the  world,  being  the  bride  of 
the  Lamb ;  and  he  has  a  betted  and  greater  good  for  to  enjoy  ; 
therefore  he  should  scorn  and  abhor  to  match  himself  to,  or  to 
tlu  any  thing  for  any  other  creature,  and  there  methinks  should 
sit  as  one  upon  a  watchtower,  looking  out,  and  telling  the  clock 
now  day  is  near,  waiting  only  for  Christ  O,  let  it  be  so !  If 
in  heaven  you  shall  have  only  Christ,  O,  prepare  for  him  much 
more  now !  As  a  woman  that  is  matched  to  a  rich  man,  all  the 
servants  attend  on  her,  and  follow  her,  she  is  wholly  and  only 
for  her  husband ;  so  it  should  be  here. 

4.  Because  he  has  prepared  and  made  all  things  else  ready 
for  the  soul,  it  is  hard  if  he  has  prepared  a  place  in  heaven,  and 
grace  in  heaveh,  not  to  prepare  a  heart,  and  make  it  ready  for 
him.  John  xiv.  1-3.  His  kingdom  was  ready  long  ago,  and  his 
Father  ready  to  accept  and  entertain  thee,  and  his  heart  loves 


Use  1.  Hence  sec  the  great  unkindoeiie  of  many  a  $oul  immfr 
diately  after  his  espousing  U>  Jesus  Christ,  who,  having  once 
giveu  himself  to  Christ,  tind  received  comfort  thereby,  presentlj 
grows  more  careless  than  before  he  was  matched  unto  the  Loid 
Jesus,  who  should  now  stand  in  a  holy  watchfulness  and  readi* 
nes8  to  receive  Ciirist,  as  it  is  in  Ps.  Ixxsv.  S,  "  Let  them  not 
turn  agwn  to  folly,"  because  they  are  apt  so  to  do.  Many  say 
when  in  some  distress,  and  at^er  long  w^tiug.  If  the  Lord  would 
pity  once,  then  happy  I ;  I  would  give  away  any  thing,  all  I 
have,  unto  hira^'  Welljthe  Lord  pities  the  soul  when  in  its  low 
estate,  and  then  it  blesses  G>od ;  but,  like  the  Israelites,  soon  forgets 
his  works,  his  love,  and,  after  great  peace  from  God,  comes  great- 
est carelessness.  )  Can  this  stand  with  grace  and  Christ  ?  Very 
hardly ;  but  yet  it  may,  for  there  are  two  things  that  make  for  it. 

1.  Because  at  first  conversion  there  is  much  seeking  of  Christ 
for  healing  the  hoir^r  and  smart  of  sin,  as  well  as  for  the  curing 
of  the  wound  and  scar  of  sin  ;  hence,  when  espoused,  and  horrcHF 
being  past,  that  wheel  being  broken,  a  man  draws  more  heavit^, 
now,  and  neglects  seeking ;  now  the  knife  is  out  of  his  heart,  tHt- 
cries  not  so  earnestly. 

2.  Because  when  espoused  and  much  affected,  commonly  » 
man  trusts  to  his  afiections  when  he  has  a  fullness  of  them ; 
hence  the  Lord  lets  Salan  prevail.  Luke  xxii.  81,  32,  "  Satan 
hath  desired  to  winnow  tlice  as  wheat ; "  and  ■■  I  (saith  Peter)  am 
ready  to  die  with  thee;"  but  you  see  he  fell,  and  then,  when  the 
Lord  looked  upon  him,  he  "  went  out  and  wept  bitterly,"  How 
shamefully  hast  thou  fallen  I  Should  any  love  him  more  than  yon, 
if  ever  he  pity  ?  Well,  for  his  name's  sake,  he  has  done  it. 
But  how  oft  hast  thou  broken  covenant  I  Uow  forgetful  of  the 
Lord's  kindness  1  The  Lord  looks  upon  thee  this  day ;  why 
hast  thou  BO  soon  forgot  me  and  forsaken  me  ?  Have  I  not 
taken  thee  from  the  dunghill,  uay,  from  bell  ?  And  whereas  I 
had  so  many  thousands  to  act  my  love  on,  I  rhose  thee ;  and 
whereas  thou  couldst  not  love  me  when  I  offered  myself,  thou 
couldst  not  return  me  love  again  ;  I  gave  it  therefore  to  thee, 
yea.  and  have  given  myself  to  thee  forever.  Hast  thou  thus  for- 
gotten me,  when  as  I  take  little  wrongs  from  tlico  more  heav"" 
than  great  ones  from  oihers?  U  that  this  might  make  you 
out  and  mourn  bitterly !  So  if  ever  you  have  tasted  that 
HS  Peter  did,  Christ's  looks  will  humble  you. 


i 


1 


THB  TEN    VIRGINS.  77 

U^e  2.  Hence  see  the  reason  why  some  godly  people  die  so 
uncomfortably,  and  with  such  distress  of  spirit ;  why,  they  have 
not  lived  in  an  expectation  of  Christ,  and  hence  they  cry  out 
themselves,  not  knowing  whither  they  go,  insomuch  as  some  have 
not  been  comforted  by  siU  former  experiences,  and  by  all  present 
consolations  of  ministers.  O,  no ;  it  is  now  too  late  to  speak ; 
they  thank  them  for  their  love,  but  God  has  otherwise  thought 
of  them ;  yet  if  any  hope  be  given  them,  it  is  ever  picked  out 
&om  some  word,  and  they  cry,  O,  I  thirst  for  a  little  mercy,  and 
then  die !  and  what  is  the  reason  of  it  ?  What  need  I  speak  ? 
Themselves  will  tell  you,  and  have  done  it  —  O,  I  have  lived  thus 
and  thus  before  you,  but  my  heart  in  secret  has  gone  afler  the 
world,  etc. ;  I  have  neglected  the  Lord  secretly,  I  have  seldom 
thought  of  or  prepared  for  death,  and  I  had  thought  to  have  been 
better,  but  the  Lord  has  met  with  me.  I  know  violence  of  dis- 
ease may  do  it  sometime,  but  I  speak  how  it  is  many  times ; 
whereas  otherwise  an  open  entrance  should  be  made.  2  Pet.  i. 
8~11.  And  as  it  has  been  with  some,  so  take  warning  lest  it  be 
so  with  you  ;  you  may  be  saved  alive,  yet  to  suffer  wreck  on  the 
shore  is^-nncomfortable ;  and  know  it,  if  your  conscience  be 
awake,  it  can  not  but  be  so.  Therefore  do  not  conclude  they 
were  damned  without  Christ,  but  they  were  not  made  ready  for 
Christ ;  and  it  may  be  your  time  draws  nigh,  and  what  have 
you  to  say  ?  Now  a  world  for  half  an  hour,  will  a  dying,  dis- 
tressed man  say. 

U$e  3.  Is  of  a  fourfold  exhortation,  to  all  those  especially  that 
the  Lord  has  espoused  to  himself. 


CHAPTER   IX. 
a  fourfold  exhortation  to  believers. 

Section  L  \ 

Exhort.  1.  To  quicken  up  all  those  doubting,  drooping,  yet 
sincere  hearts  that  much  question  the  love  of  Christ  to  them, 
now  to  use  all  diligence  to  make  the'r  calling,  and  election,  and 
the  love  of  Christ  sure  to  them ;  not  but  that  it  is  sure  on  Christ's 
part ;  but  make  it  sure  on  your  part  too,  else  how  can  you  be  in 
a  readiness  to  meet  the  Lord  Jesus  ?  While  the  strong  man 
keeps  the  palace,  the  goods  be  in  peace ;  but  when  Christ  hath 
once  driven  Satan  out  of  his  throne,  then  nothing  sometimes  but 

7» 


I 


78  TUB  PARABLE   OF 

war,  but  doubts  and  fears.  Salon  told  God  to  his  face,  Job 
served  him  for  Douglit.  much  more  the  i;oul  iti^elf ;  and  Home 
divines  think  the  very  first  ingredient  of  Solan's  poison,  and 
the  first  assault  on  CLrist  himself,  (Matt  iv.,)  was  hj  seek- 
ing lo  make  him  doubt  of  kia  SoDship.  "If  thou  be  the  Sod 
of  Goil,"  eic.  And  bis  wiloa  are  here  very  great,  that  henco 
very  few  living  Christians  have  any  Bellied  comfortable  evi- 
dence of  God's  eternal  love  to  them  in  his  Son.  and  hence 
many  sad  events  follow.  How  can  any  bless  the  Lord  for  that 
love  which  he  knows  nol  of?  Many  times  it  is  with  a  man's 
doubts  drooping  from  his  mind,  as  it  is  with  bis  continual  drop- 
,  ping  on  bis  lungs,  there  is  a  daily  consuming  of  what  once 
was,  that  many  a  Christian  doubis  away  his  life,  his  heart,  his 
strength,  and  when  all  is  wasted,  glad  now  lo  return  to  that 
where  he  should  at  first  have  begun.  And  hence,  in  one  word, 
he  is  made  every  day  unready  for  Christ  0,  therefore,  quiet 
Bot  yourselves  in  that  estate,  as  I  fear  too  many  do,  (at  least  for 
a  time;)  it  is  one  of  the  most  dangerous  estates  that  can  be,  ta 
be  troubled  with  weak  tenrs,  and  yet  rest  io  uncertain  hopes. 
But  bring  it  to  a  conclusion.  Is  the  Lord  Jesus  mine  or  no? 
And  if  he  be  yours,  and  his  love  yours,  see  it,  that  you  may 
trample  on  the  neck  of  death,  and  triumph  over  hell  and  tlia 
grave,  and  long  to  be  with  the  Lord,  and  love  the  appearing  <rf 
the  Lord,  and  go  away  with  joy  unspeakable  and  full  of  glory 
out  of  this  world,  as  to  your  wedding  ;  and  if  there  be  any  bopa 
of  getting  it,  who  would  be  without  it  ?  Some  of  you,  it  may 
be,  have  a  long  time  been  careless  in  seekuig  for  it,  hence  want 
it ;  some  of  you  have  been  traders  with  the  Lord  long,  and  yet 
doubt ;  some  of  you  have  not  clear  evidence,  but  content  youi^ 
selves  without  being  thankful  to  the  Lord  for  what  he  hnth  done 
for  you,  hence  still  doubt-  Otliers  have  gray  hairs  on  your 
heads,  or  at  least  are  near  your  graves,  the  battle  is  near,  your 
annor  is  not  on,  you  are  not  yet  raody,  and  so  still  doubt.  I  re- 
member what  Christ  said  of  Mary's  box  —  "  She  prepared  that 
for  liis  burial."  It  may  bo  that  these  truths  may  be  prepared 
for  your  approaching  dcpai'turc  ;  and  therefore  light  your  hunpa 
at  this  6re  luid  hght  of  the  Lord's  love  to  you,  and  see  that  in- 
deed he  loves  thee. 

Object  But  why  do  you  persuade  to  this,  till  the  Spirit  ( 
and  speaks  it 't     How  can  I  see  it? 

An*.  1.  It  is  true  the  Spirit  only  can  do  it ;  but  yet  the 
Spirit  that  seals  the  elect,  the  same  Spirit  commands  the  elect 
jMt  to  sit  idle  and  dream  of  the  Spirit,  hut  to  use  all  diligence  to 
make  it  sure  ;  and  you  shall  never  have  it  (unless  you  lay  hold 
on  a  fancy  for  it)  on  llioso  itnii-i. 


'  in-    H 


THE  TEN  VIBOmS.  79 

2.  Though  there  is  an  immediate  witness  of  the  Spirit  of  the 
loTe  of  Christ,  yet  it  doth  most  usually  and  firstly  witness  by 
mey^.  And  hence  I  shall  give  you  means,  looking  only  to  the 
spirit  of  Christ  to  set  them  on.  Evangelical  precepts  have  a 
power ;  for  gospel  ministration  of  the  Spirit  consists  not  only  of 
stories  and  promises,  but  commands,  and  the  elect  feel  them. 
Hence  carnal  men  under  the  law,  yet  pretending  gospel,  will 
profess  the  law  is  preached  when  to  any  evangelical  duty,  be- 
cause they  feel  not  the  power  of  the  gospel,  being  not  yet  under 
it.  And  the  means  I  shall  mention  are  only  general,  to  establish 
the  hearts  of  some. 

Jfetau  1.  Make  a  sad  inquiry  first  of  this,  whether  the  Lord 
hath  loved  thee  for  his  own  everlasting  name's  sake  or  no ;  for  if 
the  Lord  hath  loved  thee  for  this  cause,  then  thy  great  objection 
will  be  answered,  and  that  deep  valley  will  be  filled.  How  can 
the  Lord  love  me  that  am  thus  vile  before  Grod,  and  fallen  from 
God  ?  Why,  if  the  Lord,  for  his  own  sake,  hath  loved  thee, 
then,  as  do  good  in  thee  moved  him  to  love  thee,  so  no  sin  which 
he  did  know  was  and  would  be  in  thee  can  quench  that  love ; 
and  if  he  hath  manifested  his  love  to  be  grounded  on  this,  though 
but  once,  that  same  night  when  thou  changest  is  not  changed,  but 
is  still  as  dear  to  him,  and  ever  before  him  to  move  him  to  love 
thee  stilL  Rom.  xi.  2.  The  apostle  answers  a  cavil,  "  Will  God 
cast  away  his  people?"  No,  saith  he;  none  that  he  foreknew. 
And  who  are  these  ?  Verse  5,  "  A  remnant  according  to  grace  as 
with  us  ; "  i.  e.,  Grod  hath,  for  his  grace's  sake,  chosen  and  called, 
without  respect  of  any  thing  else.  Hence  that  is  to  be  under- 
stood, 1  Sam.  xii.  21,  22.  For  there  ai*e  two  sorts  of  people  in 
the  church  :  1.  Servants  ;  2.  Sons.  John  N-iii.  35.  Hence  Ithere 
is  a  double  love  the  Lord  manifests  to  men.  I 

1.  Some  he  lovesas^^serv^ts,  that  as  we  hire  some  men 
to  do  our  work,  Shd  givetfieinmeat  and  wages,  and  then  turn 
them  out  of  doors,  or  let  them  go ;  so  God  hath  work  to  be 
done  for  his  sons  and  saints,  and  (for  many  reasons)  hires  wick- 
ed men  to  it,  either  by  giving  them  reward  in  this  life,  or  hopes  \ 
of  reward  hereafter,  and  when  the  work  is  done,  and  use  made 
of  their  gifts,  graces,  spirits,  then  turns  them  out  of  doors. 
But,—  \ 

2.  Some  he  loves  as  sons,  even  the  most  foolish  and  weak  j 
in  the  world  sometimes.  Hence  not  for  any  service  they  can  do,  : 
but  for  his  own  sake  he  will  give  them  an  inheritance,  and  love  1 
them  as  sons,  because  he  will ;  these  abide  ever  in  the  Lord's^ 
love.  Hagar  and  Ishmael  cast  out,  Sarah  and  Isaac  stay  in  the 
family. 


80  THE   PARABLE   OF 

Quetl.  IIow  almll  T  knuvr  tbat  ? 

Aru.  1.  If  ilie  Lord  loves  thee  for  his  name's  sake,  it  will  draw 
thee  to  tliat  fellowship  vrilh  itself,  that  whatever  thou  wantest 
tfaou  wilt  seek  for  it  hence,  by  presenting  that  name  of  (rod,  that 
for  his  own  sake  he  would  supply.  I  know  the  Lord  loves  for 
Christ'^  sake  ;  but  why  should  Christ  help  for  his  name'E  sake  ? 
For  thua  manj  hypocrites  think,  when  they  see  God's  anger 
Kfrainst  them  for  tbeir  sin,  they  seek  to  remove  sin,  and  when 
that  is  done,  think  God  is  nt  peace,  and  now  all  is  well.  They 
see  the  Lord  is  delighted  with  the  obedience  of  his  people  ;  hence 
fall  to  that  work,  and  now  think  the  Lord  is  pleased  witli  them. 
But  if  ever  the  Lord  loves  any  man,  he  will  lirst  slop  his  mouth, 
whether  Jew  or  Gentile,  (Rom.  iii.  Vi,)  and  make  him,  on  bia 
knees,  know  there  is  no  reason  for  it,  nay,  all  reason  against  it. 
Now,  has  not  the  Lonl  brought  thee  to  this  ?  And  hence,  hav- 
ing nothing  to  quench  God's  anger  but  Christ,  hast  held  up  him 
before  God  ;  and  having  nothing  to  move  Christ,  haat  held  up 
his  name  before  him,  and  here  hast  rested  thy  wearied  heart  look- 
ing to  him,  if  any  grace  lie  begun  in  thee,  that  he  would  jierfeot 
it !  if  none,  that  he  would  begin  it  i  if  unfit  and  unworthy,  to 
prepare  thee  for  it,  only  for  his  own  good  pleasure.  This  is  one 
evidence  of  it.  As  it  is  in.  some  seals,  you  can  hanlly  perceivs 
in  the  seal  what  is  engraven  there,  but  set  it  on  wax,  you  m^ 
see  it  evidently.  So  here,  hardly  can  you  see  the  Lord's  lovfl 
for  bis  own  sake  ;  if  thou  cleavest  with  dearest  affection  to  this 
love  for  its  own  sake,  there  thou  art  safe.  Prov.  xviii.  10,  "Ths 
name  of  the  Lord  is  a  strong  tower,"  etc.;  and  this  is  not  aaXj 
Bt  first  conversion,  but  ever  after  all  duties,  all  enlargementa. 
Ezek.  ivi,  tdt.     And  this  does  evidence  love. 

1.  Because,  if  thou  hadst  the  righteousness  of  angels,  thoB 
wouldat  think  it  a  good  evidence  ;  hut  this  of  Christ  is  a  thou* 
sand  times  dearer. 

2.  This  is  a  setting  of  God  against  himsiclf,  i.  a.,  to  answer 
himself)  and  hence  saints,  in  all  their  straits  and  sorrows,  hiUiW 
hod  recourse.  I  speak  not  now  of  temporal  blessings,  but  o^ 
everlasting  love,  and  all  the  fruits  of  it,  that  hf  re  it  luings.  NoWy. 
I  say,  you  are  built  in  a  rock  higher  than  all  jiowers  of  <larkncas) 
now  a  key  is  put  into  thy  hand  to  unlock  all  God's  ti-easurej( 
now  thou  art  in  the  very  lap  of  love,  wrapped  up  in  it,  wlien  tier* 
thy  heart  rests  ;  and  therefore,  if  this  lie  thus,  see  it.  and  wonder: 
Lis  name  has  moved  him  to  love  me. 

3.  You  shall  find  this,  if  the  Lord  for  his  name's  sake  loves  tlie^ 
there  is  not  any  carriage  or  passage  of  providence  of  him  to  thee.^ 
hut  he  gets  himself  a  name  first  or  lant  by  it ;  for  if  this  be  God'g 


THE  TEN   VIROIKS.  81 

end,  ererj  passage  of  providence  is  but  a  means  to  this  end. 
Henoe  he  will  attain  this  end  by  every  act  of  his  providence  to- 
ward thee.'  Hence  jou  shall  find  that  those  very  sins  that  dis- 
hoiMM'  his  nan^e,  he  will  even  by  them  (and  if  by  them,  by  all 
things  else)  get  himself  a  name  ;  he  will  b&  so  fiu-  from  casting^ 
thee  oat  of  fajs  love,  that  he  will  do  thee  good  by  them.  /  Those 
very  ains  that  God  damns  others  for,  he  will  make  to  humble 
thee,  enoiply  thee.  Pharisees  persecuted  Christ,  and  lost  all  for  it ; 
Paul  was  so^  and  it  humbled  him  all  his  life — ^'  Not  worthy  to  be 
called  an  apostle,  because  I  persecuted  the  church  of  God ; "  and 
h  made  him  lay  up  all  his  wealth  in  mercy —  *^  I  was  received  to 
mercy."  1  Tim.  i./Mary  sins  much,  and  Grod  forgives  much,  and 
Fhe  loves  modi ;  others  sinned  much,  and  God  hardened  much. 
Judas  betrays  Christ  and  repents,  and  hangs  himself,  and  fiies 
from  him ;  Pet6r  denies  him  and  weeps,  and  hence  he  is  the  first 
that  preaches  him.  J  And  this  is  certain,  in  the  best  hypocrite.  ( 
sins  left  in  him  either  never  make  him  better,  but  blind  and 
harden  him,  and  he  has  his  distinctions  of  infirmity,  etc.,  that  he 
slights  them  day  by  day,  till  all  his  days  are  run  out ;  or  if  any 
good,  it  is  no  more  than  Judas  or  Cain,  some  legal  terrors,  or 
other  light  flashes  of  comfort ;  but  to  be  more  humble  indeed, 
etc,  this  he  finds  not.  Now,  is  it  not  so  with  thee  ?  Doth  not 
thy  weakness  strengthen  thee,  with  Paul  ?  Doth  not  thy  blind- 
ness make  thee  cry  for  light  ?  And  those  cries  have  been  heard ; 
oot  of  darimess  Uod  has  brought  light.  Thou  hast  felt  venom 
and  risings  of  heart  against  Christ ;  and  do  they  not  make  thee 
loathe  thyself  more,  that  thou  thinkest  never  any  so  beholding  to 
grace  ?  Do  not  thy  falls  into  sin  make  thee  more  weary  of  it, 
lU^hfhl  against  it,  long  to  be  rid  of  it  ?  And  so  sin  abounds, 
bat  grace  abounds.  Why  should  this  be  so  ?  For  his  name's  sake, 
because  he  will  love  thee  ;  hence  it  is  so  great  and  unmatchable, 
that  he  will  make  thy  poison  thy  food,  thy  death  thy  life,  thy 
damnation  salvation,  thy  very  greatest  enemies  thy  greatest 
friends.  And  hence  Mr.  Fox  said  he  thanked  God  for  his  sins 
more  than  his  good  works.  I  have  marveled  at  God's  dealings 
with  his  people ;  they  depart,  and  stay  long,  and  care  not  for  re- 
turning again ;  in  that  time  a  mighty  power  teaches,  humbles, 
brings  back,  when  they  never  thought  of  it  O,  the  reason  is, 
God  will  have  his  name.  Now,  if  thus,  your  assurance  will  be 
strong  and  constant;  but,  if  you  build  thus,  I  have  done  this,  etc., 
I  have  that,  your  assurance  will  not  stand  ;  therefore  look  and 
see  if  it  be  not  thus  with  you. 

Jfeam  2.  Take  heed  you  do  not  build  your  assurance  from  a 
mingled  covenant  of  works  and  grace,  for  this  is  the  frame  of 


divers  when  they  lie  under  tlie  first  covenant  only  of  doing,  they 
will  not  take  this  as  any  evidence,  as  they  htive  no  renson  so  to 
do.  Rom.  ix.  31,  Nor,  when  a  roan  lies  under  tlie  second  cov^ 
enant  of  believing  barely,  and  if  it  be  a  dead  faitb,  they  have  oo- 
evidence  or  reason  so  to  do.  Hence  they  mingle  the  covenaali^ 
and  think  thus.  If  I  caji  believe  in  Christ,  and  perform  universal 
obedience  to  all  the  commands  of  God,  I  shall  be  safe ;  hence 
eet  upon  the  observance  of  both,  and  finding  they  can  never  ia< 
them,  especially  the  latter,  hence  are  ever  troubled,  and  nevei^ 
have  any  settled  peace.  Hence  those  Galatians  Paul  writer 
perverting  and  mingUng,  the  covenants,  were  troubled.  Gal.  i 
and  v.  12.  Not  (beloved)  but  that  whoever  Ijelieves  and  per-' 
forms  universal  obedience  evangelically  to  the  whole  law,  he  caiii 
not  but  do  well ;  and  he  that  does  it  not,  but  Uvea  in  any  oae> 
Bin,  let  bim  evidence  his  faith  if  he  can.  But  I  speak  when  fti 
man  submits  to  it,  «»£  forma  fadnris,  if  I  can  do  it,  and  became' 
I  can  not  do  it.  hence  doubt.  Hence  gather  your  evidence  of 
God's  lovo  primarily  and  chiefly  from  your  subjection  to  t" 
eeoond  covenant.  Gal.  vL  16,  "Peace  on  them  that  wallc  i 
cording  to  this  rule ; "  for  Adam's  righteousness  that  did  tie  bin) 
to  God,  it  brake ;  hence  no  life,  nor  evidence  from  that ;  bob 
faith  is  an  everlasting,  invincible  grace,  upheld  by  the  mighbf  i 
power  of  God,  and  hence  here  will  be  everlasting  evidence  ai  ' 
1  Pet.  i.  8,  "  Whom  though  we  see  not,  yet  behaving  n 
irrejoice."  Olg'feC.  Is  a  Christian  then  free  from  the  law?  An$ii 
U  Yes,  he  is  free  from  iLSa_ft  goyenant ;  hence,  though  it  be  broken 
Wbj  bim,  he  isjint  cast  out  of  covenant  or  favor ;  but  he  is  not  free 
'  Bin  it  as  aWk)from  which  if  he  swerves,  he  is  to  call  himself, 
it  GoS^love,  mto  question.  Why  ?  Because  it  has  pleased  ths 
lather  in  another  covenant  to  olfer  life,  give  life,  and  hence  only 
to  evidence  life.  Whatever  the  law  requires  I  have ;  at  that  _, 
instant  I  did  believe  I  performed  it  in  a  Saviour  by  faith; 
that  I  myself  may  do  every  tittle  of  it,  I  come  into  a  Saviour  f<tf 
it  by  failh ;  so  tliat  when  Satan  objects  yoa  have  no  Christ,  n 
love  of  a  Christ,  because  no  fuitb,  and  no  faith  because  you  c 
not  do  this  or  that,  answer,  I  can  not  do  it,  indeed  I  never 
dertook  it  to  liave  life  or  love  thus  j  but  I  have  done  it  i: 
other,  and  I  can  do  nil  things  by  Christ,  if  he  will  help  me,  v 
der  whose  grace  I  lie,  and  hence  will  be  so  far  from  doublin^l 
tliat  I  will  rejoice  in  mine  infirmities,  that  I  tun  a  fit  subject  SirM 
the  power  and  grace  of  Ciirist  to  show  itself  upon.  Thus  r 
to  the  second  covenant  ever,  if  ever  you  would  get  any  settled 
peace.  And  from  neglect  of  this  (lows  a  world  of  unpeaceabls' 
neas  in  many  a  spirit,  ever  complaining,  and  why  ?     I 


THE  TEN    VIKGIXS.  83 

do  tbis  or  that,  never  peace  now ;  but  can  not  you  lie  under  the 

lord  that  he  would  help  ?    Keep  here,  and  keep  jour  peace  here. 
OifecL  But  many  a  Christian  that  retires  hither  hath  no  peace ; 

aod  so  have  I  done,  jet  find  none. 

Aiu.  It  18  then  upon  a  double  ground  which  you  are  to  avoid  ; 
either,  1.  Because  you  have  faith,  but  you  imprison  your  faith, 
joQ  pot  out  the  eyes  and  shackle  the  feet  of  faith  ;  for  faith  will 
conquer  and  triumph  over  all  sins  and  fears  of  the  world,  if  at 
h*berty,  (1  John  v.  4 ;)  like  a  master  in  a  ship,  if  he  can  not 
save  the  ship  one  way,  let  him  have  liberty,  he  will  by  another. 
If  it  be  objected,  you  have  departed  from  Christ,  what  have  you 
to  do  with  him  ?  FU  return,  saith  faith,  to  my  first  husband. 
Object,  But  he  is  angry  with  you.  Ans,  If  he  be  angry  for  my 
departure  from  him,  I  will  not  provoke  him  more  by  staying 
here ;  who  knows  but  he  may  repent  ?  Object.  But  you  can  not 
go  to  him  with  all  your  heart.  Ans.  True ;  yet  Til  look  to  him 
to  draw  me.  Object.  But  you  feel  nothing.  Ans.  Yet  I  will 
wait.  Object.  But  you  will  wait  in  vain.  Ans.  Still  I  will  look 
he  would  keep  me  from  that.  Now,  stop  at  any  of  these,  trouble 
comes ;  suffer  it  to  shift,  it  will  find  rest.  As  it  is  with  the  an- 
chor, let  it  down  but  little,  the  ship  drives ;  but  let  it  down  at 
full  length,  it  will  ride  in  storms ;  then  it  is  wrestling  of  faith 
that  gets  the  blessing,  where  opposition  makes  the  soul  take 
faster  hold,  as  it  was  with  Jacob.  The  woman  of  Canaan  got 
it  thus. 

Or,  2.  It  is  because  they  look  for  another  kind  of  faith,  and 
hence  own  not,  as  the  Jews  the  Messiah ;  they  made  account  to 
have  received  him  in  state,  and  he  came  low  ;  so  men  look  for  a 
superlative  faith,  but  want  it.  But  thus  the  soul  espoused  to 
Christ,  so  long  as  marriage  covenant  lasts,  she  may  conclude  of* 
love. 

Means  8.  Do  not  fear  the  love  of  Christ  is  not  toward  you, 
because  he  hides  his  face,  and  departs  sometimes  from  you  ; 
husbands  remain  so  when  they  depart,  and  leave  the  house  for 
many  a  day  ;  and  it  is  simple  to  say  he  is  not  my  husband  now. 
So  here  the  Lord  loves  his  people,  yet  departs,  (Is.  liv.  1-7 ;) 
and  truly  it  is  very  hard  when  inward  blows,  and  sad  desertions, 
and  outward  miseries,  and  no  Christ  found,  though  sought  for. 
But  how  shall  I  then  know  and  discern  his  love  ?  Ans.  Many 
things  might  be  said  this  way,  only  one  thing  observe,  whether 
thy  love  remains  still  to  him  for  himself;  for  it  is  a  rule  that 
most  commonly  a  Christian's  purest  and  dearest  love  appears  in 
Christ's  absence  from  him.  As  it  is  with  friends,  while  with  us 
we  lore  them ;  but  when  gone,  wc  feel  that  love  more  quick  than 


r 


i  ov 


K  appi 

I 

K  he  I 


before.  Jeruaalcm  lies  in  the  du»t,  and  son  the  very  dust  is 
beloTed,  (Ps.  cii.  13.  14 ;)  and  if  it  be  so,  it  is  certiiin  we  lore 
him  because  he  loved  u.s,  and  we  eontinue  to  love  him  because 
he  continues  to  love  us ;  now  look,  then,  if  thy  love  do  not  ap- 
pear, 1.  Id  mourning  for  his  absence ;  2.  In  longing  for  his 
presence  ;  3.  In  bleaaing  him  for  a  little  that  is  left  of  himself, 
aa  seeing  eavL  want  of  him ;  and  is  not  this  for  himself,  to  have 
his  company  again,  that  though  God  givea  thee  all  other  things, 
yot  when  thou  eomest  to  consider  the  Lord  is  gime,  this  strikes 
near,  as  when  Christ  departed  away  ?  John  xvi.  6,  G.  But  be- 
cause love  may  be  benumbed  and  be  dead,  therefore  try  it  n  time 
of  parting,  and  put  tliy  heart  thus  to  it ;  if  he  be  none  of  tMne, 
then  take  thy  fill  in  thy  sin,  and  forsake  him.  No,  beloved,  here 
you  shall  see  the  heart  will  yield  and  melt,  (John  xiii.  3-6,  etc ;) 
and  it  will  say,  Lord,  let  mo  never  sin  more  against  thee,  though 
never  saved  by  thee.  And  take  it  for  a  rule,  do  not  think  the 
Lord  has  left  off  liis  love  to  you  when  you  depart  from  him,  and 
he  from  you  ;  but,  lying  in  your '  departures,  O,  that  ie  sad  !  but, 
r«tuni  again,  it  comforts  the  Lord's  heart,  especially  when  it  is 
for  himself,  not  for  peace  and  salvation,  bnt,  though  he  never 
Hayes  me,  O.  yet  I  will  look  after  liim. 

I  Means  4./Look  to  the  tender-hearledncss  of  ibe  Lord  Jesns  j 
for  (belovcQ)  all  the  doubts  of  Christians  arise  chiefly  from  this 
head,  from  a  hard  opinion  of  Christ,  which  Satan  suggests,  as  at 
first,  (Gen.  iii.  5,)  that  so  they  miglit  lake  in  his  wares.  God's 
people  do  not  know  the  tender-heartedness  of  the  Lord  Jesus  ; 

\  Satan  presents  him  only  in  wrath.      When  any  threats   are 

^oken,  all  these  are  mine,  sailh  the  soul,  etc.  And  now,  if  any 
woman  lives  with  a  man  that  is  of  a  hoggish,  cliurlisli  disposition, 
s!io  will  be  ever  doubling  of  his  love.  Men  do  not  know  it,  I 
say,  and  hence,  when  any  misery  or  trouble  comes,  ihey  grow 
jealous  of  him,  which  the  Lord  lakes  exceeding  ill.  Dcut.  i.  27. 
Qwest.  How  shall  I  know  that  tender-heartedness  of  Christ  ? 
Ahs.  By  his  carriiige  towards  men  when  he  was  here  on  earth, 
for  now  he  is  in  heaven  in  glory,  and  we  know  not  what  his  dis- 

I  position  is ;  therefore  his  life  on  earth  was  the  living  looking- 
glass  of  his  heart  forever.     In  four  things. 

1.  Never  any  came  to  him  that  he  cast  away,  whatever  their 
sorrows  or  sins  were,  but  healed  them  every  one,  if  they  came 
lo  him  wiili  their  miseries ;  for  in  healing  their  miseries  he  did 
but  show  his  readiness  lo  heAl  them  of  ihi'Ir  sin  ;  hence  Matthew 
applies  that,  (Walt.  viii.  17.)  "  He  bare  our  infirmities." 

leu  came  to  him  for  by  ends,  not  for  himself  chiefijn 
he  rebukes  them  for  il,  and  shows  he  was  more  ready  to  ^f|3 
himself  than  bread  to  them.  John  vi.  27.  J 


THE  TEN   YIBOINS.  85 

3.  Those  that  were  lost,  and  sick,  and  miserable,  and  came  not 
to  him,  he  went  up  and  down  to  seek  and  save  them,  the  '^  lost 
sheep."  Luke  xix.  10. 

4.  Those  that  would  none  of  his  love,  he  pitied  and  had  com- 
passion on  their  misery  and  sin,  as  on  them  that  were  sheep 
without  a  shepherd ;  he  mourned  for  the  hardness  of  their  hearts. 
He  wept  over  Jerusalem.  Now  look  upon  Christ  the  same  still. 
Thou  oomest  to  him  in  secret  to  take  away  all  iniquity,  to  give 
thee  himself:  tell  me,  dost  thou  think  the  Lord,  if  here,  would 
reject  thee  ever  ?  2.  But  I  dare  not  receive  him.  Ans»  Thou 
wilt  take  bread  from  him  daily,  and  he  is  more  willing  to  give 
himseUl  3.  Thou  canst  not  come  to  him,  nor  find  him,  but  only 
sometimes,  nor  see  him.  Well,  but  then  he  will  seek  thee  out. 
4.  O,  but  I  oflt  reject !  Yet  he  pities  thee  still.  O,  think  of  this 
oompassion  of  Christ,  and  make  him  as  if  present !  It  is  a 
special  means  to  establish  the  heart  in  believing. 

Means  5.  Learn  to  know,  when  you  are  bound,  not  to  give 
way  to  your  fear  of  Grod's  love,  for  sometimes  it  is  the  case  of 
many  a  precious  soul,  that  he  has  clear  evidence  of  God's  love 
to  him  ;  and  what  is  there  against  it  ?  Nothing  but  a  fear,  what 
if  I  shall  be  deceived  when  all  is  done  ?  And  hence  the  heart 
sinks  exceedingly.  As  some  women  that  have  special  love,  if 
once  they  take  a  jealousy  of  their  husband,  it  is  never  removed. 
So  here. 

Quest,  How  shall  I  know  this  ? 

Afis.  First  If  those  fears  thou  hast  drive  thee  farther  from 
Christ,  it  is  clear  you  are  then  to  cast  them  off.  Those  fears 
that  cause  sin  are  sinful ;  but  to  be  driven  from  Christ  is  sinful. 
Lake  v.  9,  1 0,  **  Lord,  depart  from  me ;  I  am  sinful."  "  Fear 
not,"  saith  Christ,  (1  Sam.  xii.  20 ;)  they  were  ready  to  cast  off 
alL  **  Fear  not,"  saith  he.  Think  of  this,  what  it  is  you  get  by 
nursing  up  those  fears  ;  they  hinder  your  joy  in  and  your  love 
to  Christ ;  your  blessing  of  Christ ;  cause  a  dead,  discouraging 
heart.  Nay,  though  they  drive  you  to  Christ  one  way,  if  they 
drive  you  from  Christ  another  way,  by  questioning  his  care,  con- 
cluding against  his  truth,  never  doubt  they  are  vile.  Matt  viii. 
26,  **  Why  did  ye  fear,  O  ye  of  little  faith  ? "  So  far,  there- 
fore, as  fear  drives  us  to  Christ,  it  is  good,  otherwise  to  be  cut  off. 

2.  If  the  Lord  has  drawn  tliy  heart  to  come  to  Christ,  and 
when  undone,  every  way  secretly  persuaded  thy  heart  that  thou 
shalt  have  help  if  thou  come,  and  by  coming  hast  received  heal- 
ing virtues  of  thy  lusts  and  vile  affections  from  the  Lord  Jesus, 
fear  not  now ;  it  is  a  sin  to  fear  I  shall  not  have  help  ;  as  (Mark 
T.  33)  the  woman  with  the  bloody  issue,  she  was  afraid  she  had 
TOL.  n.  8 


I 

L 


86  Tu 

presumed,  lience  came  Ircmbling ;  but  the  Lord  told  her,  "  No«rJ 
fear  not ;  be  it  unto  tliee  according  to  thy  faith  i "  only  thy  if 
is  but  begun  to  beul.     What  say  you  ?     Have  you  never  come  t%il 
him,  never  received  any  healtng  from  him?   That  is  hard.  S* 
it  is  80,  that  I  would  not  be  in  my  lunt  again  for  a  world. 

Meant  G.  If  none  of  these  prevail,  but  the  Lord  follows  ti 
with  fears  on  fears,  as  wave  on  wave,  then  see  if  there  be  i 
some  guile  of  spirit  in  thee  ;  i.  e.,  some  sin  you  have,  ( 
give  way  to,  if  you  had  osaurance  of  God's  love.  It  was  tliq;J 
speech  of  one  to  me,  next  to  the  donation  of  Christ  no  mercy 
like  this,  to  deny  ossurnnco  long ;  and  why  ?  for,  if  the  Lora 
had  nut,  I  should  have  given  way  to  a  loose  heart  and  life  ;  but, 
etc. :  BO  if  the  Lord  should  deal  so  with  Ihee,  it  may  be  thou 
woutdst  lie  in  thy  sina,  if  thou  hadat  peace  (here  ;  and  it  may  be 
you  have  had  it,  but  sinned,  and  not  confessed,  not  lamented,  not 
opposed.  Thus  it  was  with  David.  Ps,  ixiii.  1-4.  Hence 
when  he  confessed,  the  Lord  forgave  in  his  couecience  hts  sin. 
Men  will  withdraw  their  love  from  their  wives  if  it  make  them 
wanton,  and  deal  sharply  with  them.  So  one  that  never  restored 
oould  never  get  peace ;  some  ever  complaining,  never  settled, 
because  they  have  their  truces  with  sin,  and  would  have  peace 
^with  Christ,  and  it  can  not  be.  And/this  is  a  rule  I  have  long 
Ifaeld,  in  them  that  have  clear  light  of  the  gospel,  long  denial  of 
lassurance  is  like  fire  to  bum  out  some  sin,  and  then  the  Lord 
Iwill  B]>eak  peace.  Judg.  x.  IG.  And  therefore  take  this  counsel, 
and  God  will  trll  thee  thy  sin,  if  thou  art  desirous  that  he  should 
Snd  it  out,  but  get  this  mercy  from  him.  Zacli.  xiii.  'i. 

Means  7.  Bring  thy  heart  to  a  strait,  either  to  reject  or  M- 
ceive  him  to  be  thine ;  he  is  offered  to  be  King  and  Saviour, 
and  lord  and  hnsbajid  ;  now  thou  shalt  have  his  heart,  his  hand, 
his  Spirit,  his  FatJicr,  his  kingdom,  bis  ordinances,  his  angels, 
himself,  if  you  receive  him  ;  or  else,  if  not,  you  shall  lose  hiro  ; 
and  then  woe  to  thee,  when  any  mercy,  any  misery,  any  ordi- 
nance befalls  thee  ;  for  all  shall  suck  thy  blood,  consume  thee, 
and  fit  thee  for  eternal  ruin  ;  and  then  I  wbh,  O  that  I  had  taken 
him  I  but  then  too  late ;  therefore  rewive  him  or  reject  him. 
0,  I  can  not ;  that's  another  matter.  However,  we  propound 
these  evangeUcal  commands  thut  may  come  with  power,  and 
therefore  know,  that  if  they  do  not  now,  they  shall  arise  ogiuo 

Section  II. 

Exhort  2.  This  is  not  all  that  which  makes  you  ready  for 

Christ,  imleEs  your  love  is  set  and  fixed  on  him  ;  and  therefore 


THE   TEN    VIRGINS.  87 

look  that  it  be  ready.  I  doubt  not  but  that  there  is  glowing  in 
jour  hearts  some  love  to  the  Lord  ;  it  can  not  be  that  all  should 
be  quenched,  that  all  his  kindness  should  be  forgotten,  but  re- 
membered many  times  with  some  affliction ;  but  know  it,  if  it  be 
so,  joar  lamp  is  not  jet  in  jour  hand,  nor  your  souls  readj  to 
meet  the  Lord.  For  look  as  it  is  with  a  mighty  prince,  that  shall 
set  his  heart  on  some  poor  servant,  and  he  requires  no  portion 
bat  to  love  him  the  more,  and  she  can  not  bring  her  heart  to  love 
him  more  than  other  mean  fellows,  is  she  fit  or  read j  to  be  matched 
miU>  him  ?  So  here.  Hence,  (Matt  x.  37,)  '^  He  that  loves  fa- 
ther or  mother,"  etc  ;  then  jou  are  readj  when  jour  love  is  fit 
for  such  a  husband ;  and  therefore,  though  jou  feel  some  love 
mider  the  ashes  (when  jou  stir  up  jour  hearts)  to  the  Lord  Je- 
sus, jet  if  it  be  not  a  fit  love  beseeming  his  excellencj  and  the 
gk>rj  of  his  person,  when  jou  can  draw  out  buckets  of  love,  and 
pour  it  upon  other  things,  but  scarce  fetch  out  a  drop  for 
Christ,  and  jet  jou  hope  that  will  serve  the  turn ;  I  tell  jou  no, 
JOU  are  jet  unfit  and  unreadj  for  him.  Look  as  it  was  with 
their  offering  the  testimonies  of  love  and  thankfulness,  (Mai.  i. 
14;)  so  it  is  here.  And  therefore  m j  exhortation  shall  be  as  is 
said  in  that  psalm,  (Ps.  Ixxxvi.  7,  8,)  "  Give  unto  the  Lord  the 
honor  due  unto  his  name/*  So  give  to  the  Lord  the  love  that  is 
due  unto  him,  that  love  that  is  fit  for  him. 

QuesL  What  is  that  love  the  Lord  would  have,  which  is  fit  for 
him  ? 

Ans.  1.  Beloved,  I  hope  if  jou  think  not  jour  blood  too  dear 
for  Christ,  JOU  will  not  think  anj  love  too  much  for  Christ.  Yet 
because  I  would  not  have  jou  aim  at  uncertain  mark  and  shoot 
at  a  venture,  I  shall  single  out  that  love  which  I  hope  jour  own 
consciences  can  not  but  say  is  fit.     And, — 

1.  I  had  thought  to  have  sought  for  this  from  you,  viz.: 
Give  the  Lord  Jesus  but  that  love,  no  more  love  than  thou  hast 
(riven  to  thy  lusts,  the  Lord  will  be  contented  with  it,  (Rom.  vi. 
19,)  **  As  ye  have  jielded,"  etc.;  so  now.  But  that  it  may  be 
JOU  may  think  this  love  too  base  for  him,  yet  give  him  but  this, 
and  the  Lord  would  be  contented  with  it,  and  accept  of  it ;  and 
those  that  shall  not,  it  shall  be  their  torment  in  hell  to  think  of 
thi^  word.  O  that  I  had  given  the  Lord  Jesus  that  love  I  gave 
to  my  base  lusts  !  I  had  had  him  and  been  in  heaven  with  him. 
But  I  wholly  press  a  second. 

2.  Do  but  love  him  as  he  lovcth  thee  j  i.  e.,  you  can  not  an- 
swer the  greatness  of  his  love,  but  do  it  for  your  measure.  If 
JOU  can  not  pay  him  in  }>ounds,  yet  pay  him  in  pence,  and  this 
Li  tit  for  him.     For,  1.  lie  is  worthy  of  love  ;  there  is  beauty  in 


him  why  thou  shouldst  desire  him ;    there  i 


2.  Tliy  love  shull  hftve  i 


rii«i»Hiensi 
mtheeTg. 


in    thea.4 
,  (2  Tim.  ir.  8 ;)  he  neT«« 


Helov 


i  thee  first  with  hlB  1 


o  me,  that  b»  1 


can  huvc  recompense  li 

own  love  ;'now  that  a  unrcaiionitble  not  to  reflect  his  beamB,a 

return  him  his  own  again  in  similitude,  if  not  in  parity. 

Qtteit.  Wherein  appears  the  love  of  the  Lord  l( 
I  may  see  how  I  manifest  the  like  love  (o  him  ? 

Am.  He  lialh  ioved  thee  more  than  himself,  more  than  Ml  ] 
own  honor  —  for  "he  made  himself  of  no  reputation,"  (Philip.  I 
ii.  7  ;}  more  than  his  own  comforts — he  Icfl  the  bosom  of  a  Fa- 
ther, and  bore  the  wrath  of  a  Father  for  thee ;  more  than  his 
own  life  —  he  saw  thy  neck  upon  the  block,  and  God's  ax  up  to 
give  the  bloody  and  fatal  stroke,  and  he  came  in  tby  room,  and 
loveil  thy  life  more  than  his  own,  lost  his  own  before  one  hair  of 
thy  head  should  perish,  though  he  knew  thee  a  traitor  to  God 
and  an  enemy  to  bimfeir.  Rom.  v.  10  ;  Rev.  i.  5,  d.  If  this  be 
not  thus,  woe  to  the  living,  woe  to  the  dying.  What  art  thou 
but  a  sad  spectacle,  hung  up  in  thy  chains  in  this  world,  for 
angels  in  heaven  to  see  and  tremble  at,  and  for  devils,  eins,  and 
eternal  sorrows,  like  fowls  of  heaven,  to  prey  upon  ?  Now, 
is  it  not  tit  that  thou  shouldst  love  him  more  than  ihyaelf ;  his 
I  honor  more  than  thine  own ;  nay,  more  than  thy  Ufe  ?  Rev.  iiL 
11.  I  have  known  them  whom  the  Lord  hath  revealed  this  love 
to,  that  have  thought  it  too  little  to  do,  and  hence  have  wished 
they  had  been  bom  in  tbosB  times  that  they  might  have  laid 
down  their  lives  for  him.  Wlierc  is  now  this  love  ?  ^Qo^^jia^ 
selHoye  swallow  mmll  ?  l^ord,  what  setf-seeking,  self-serving, 
Belf^inding,  self-honoring,  self-pleasing,  and"  iHe^  Lord  himaelf 
and  iSTSVffiUrgo^asif^BJfe  were  no  Christ,  or  in  him  no  love  I 

2.  Hq  hath  loved  thee  when  he  might  have  passed  by  thee, 
and  loved  others  that  might  have  won  the  Lord  towards  them  (I 
speak  after  the  manner  of  men)  rather  than  thee  ;  men  of  greats 
er  place,  srcaler  giAs  and  parts,  greater  pomp  in  the  world ;  but 
(Rom.  ix.)  Jacob  shall  be  loved,  Esau  hated.     He  hath  passed 
by  kings  with  their  crowns,  and  now  set  his  heart  on  thee,  a  babe, 
when  wise  ones  knew  him  not ;  foolish,  when  prudent  ones  see 
him  not;  weak,  when  strong  and  mighty  receive  hun  not.     Yea, 
as  the  apostle  speaketh,  (I  Cor.  i.  28,)  "  13asc  thing^and  ihioglP' 
which  are  not"     God  hath  made  thee  nothing  in  tliine  own  eyeiifl 
Behold  his  love,  and  now  do  the  like  for  him.     It  may  be  boi^9 
time  thy  carnal  eye  sees  more  glory  in  the  creature  than  in  Chria^fl 
more  in  the  honor  of  man  than  in  the  honor  of  a  Clirist.  e 
and  hence  mightst  set  tliy  hoart  on  them  rather  than  o 
because  strongly  lempl«d  so  lu  do,  and  it  may,  al'ter  gome 


THE  TEN   VraOINS.  89 

be  saved  at  last,  yet  pass  bj  them,  and  set  thy  heart  only  on  him. 
Wc  judge  of  a  friend  by  the  times  of  trial,  and  of  a  Christian  II  w 
by  a  time  of  temptation.  Now,  a  Balaam,  a  witch,  may  not  dare,  ]l  K 
in  time  of  temptation,  to  fall  into  it.  O,  get  one  strain  higher, 
and  go  one  step  farther  than  a  witch ;  though  I  might  let  my 
heart  loose  after  the  world,  I  will  not  love  it ;  the  love  of  the  Lord 
deserves  it,  the  love  of  the  Lord  constrains  me  to  give  my  love 
to  him,  and  not  to  the  world,  though  I  might  hide  it  and  have 
pardon  for  it. 

3.  He  loves  thee  although  thou  wrongest  him,  (Is.  xliii.  22- 
26 ;)  when  he  is  so  wronged  that  he  is  ready  to  give  thee  up ; 
yet,  (Hos.  xL  8,  9,)  "  He  is  Grod,  and  not  man."  Nay,  which  is 
much  more  wonderful,  where  sin,  there  grace  abounds.  Hence 
David  makes  this  an  argument,  (Ps.  xxv.  11,)  "  Forgive  because 
it  is  great."  And  hence  Moses,  (Deut  xxxiii.  9,)  "  Because  it 
is  a  stiffnecked  people."  O,  therefore,  love  him,  though  he  smites 
thee,  though  he  forsakes  thee,  wherein  he  may  seem,  but  indeed 
doth  no  wrong  to  thee,  but  love  thee  ;  chastisement  is  part  of  tlie^ 
portion  of  sons,  not  of  bastards.  Heb.  xii.  6,  8.  Buy  do  as  that 
woman  when  she  came  to  the  stake,  gave  away  her  clothes,  some 
to  one,  some  to  another  —  "  Now,  farewell,  friends  and  world, 
welcome  love,  Christ."  So,  if  the  Lord  comes  to  take  away  all 
from  thee,  the  child  of  thy  body,  the  husband  of  thy  youth,  the  ; 
wife  of  thy  bosom,  the  comforts  of  thy  life,  provisions  from  thy  • 
family,  bread  from  thy  mouth,  bid  farewell  to  them,  give  them 
into  the  Lord's  hands,  and  now  say,  welcome  Christ.  It  is  usq^^ 
for  Christians  at  first  conversion  and  espousing,  the  Lord  loves 
them  dearly,  and  tenders  them,  shows  nothing  but  love  to  them, 
and  then  their  love  is  fresh ;  afterward  come  hard  frosts,  and 
winter  storms,  and  cold  blasts  of  displeased  afflictions ;  now  the 
soul  apprehending  anger,  and  nothing  else,  it  grows  discouraged, 
so  dies.  When,  if  it  could  stay  and  wait,  it  should  see  all  from 
love,  and  doing  it  the  greatest  good.  O,  remember  this ;  he  doth 
afflict  me ;  he  doth  depart  from  me,  he  doth  fear  me  with  hell, 
yet  I  will  love  him  never  a  whit  the  less.  Though  the  Lord 
buries  all  the  blessings  he  gives  me,  yet  my  love  shall  live,  and 
if  it  do  fall,  it  shall  arise. 

4.  He  loved  thee  when  in  thy  low  estate,  (Ps.  cxxxvi.  23 ;) 
even  when  as  no  eye  pitied  thee,  (Ezek.  xvi. ;)  nay,  when  thou 
wert  vilest,  at  the  hight  of  thy  sin,  under  deepest  depths  of 
misery  and  straitest  captivity,  after  friends  had  almost  ceased 
to  counsel,  word  and  spirit  could  do  no  good,  after  conscience 
had  warned  thee.  O,  love  him  when  he  is  in  his  lowest  estate, 
when  his  enemies  persecute  him  and  his  seeming  friends  forsake 

8* 


90  TUB   PARABLE   OF 

I  him.     Before  you  came  to  this  land,  you  thought  Christ  imd  pi 
llBCCUtion,  ClirisI  anil  ihe  meanest  tondition.  nay,  Christ  and  deai 
Iwould  be  sweeL     Tlic  Lord,  it  may  be,  doLh  or  will  try  yoo^ 
jllovc ;  and  here  you  find  Christ  and  losses  in  eslate,  Christ  and 
llcrosses  in  your  family,  Christ  and   many  fears   and   toils   aod 
Ucares.     Do  you  love  him  now  as  well  as  ever  you  did  for  hD 
Ikhis  ?  /  O,  never  was  my  heart  worse.     1  doubt  not  but  a  dis- 
'oerning  Christian  may  see  how  all  the  world  is  ^iiainBt  Christ; 
nay,  many  traitors  in  his  own  family,  who  love  the  bag  more 
than  Christ ;   many  foolish  virgins,  who  love  their  sleep  And 
sloth  more  than  Christ ;  nay,  the  hearts  and  sjiirils  of  his  own 
friends  declining,  that  there  is  not  that  life  of  Christ,  that  pres- 
ence and  savor  and  power  of  Christ  in  hearts,  in  prayers,  m 
livQE,  and  no  complaints  of  tliia.     Now  is  the  fittest  lime  of  love, 
when  no  eye  sees,  when  no  heart  loves  him  or  cures  for  him. 
Ps.  cxix.  126,   127,  "Therefore  I  love  thy  commands ;  "  when 
he  is  shut  out  of  every  heart,  when  none  to  receive  him,  if  any 
love  it  will  appear  now. 

5.  He  doth  love  thee  constantly  every  moment.  John  xiii.  1,  3. 
He  halJi  thee  every  moment  in  his  bosom,  every  moment  thou 
art  sinning  and  lie  is  pardoning.  Sin  and  Satan,  and  hell  and 
wrath,  are  every  moment  waiting  to  hurt  iliee,  and  he  is  every 
moment  vratching  over  thee,  redeeming  of  thee.  Every  moment 
Bin  and  justice  cry  against  thee ;  and  yet  ho  is  continually 
"making  inicrcession  for  thee."  la.  xxvi.  2,  3.  Every  moment 
he  is  blessing  when  thou  art  sinning.  O,  the  unknown  love  of 
the  Lord  Jesus.  O,  these  fits  of  love  are  not  fit  for  him.  A. 
man  every  moment  wanning  him,  but  still  is  cold,  it  is  a  sad  sign 
that  dealh  is  near.  You  can  love  him  sometimes  in  a  sermoiii 
but  soon  afler  cold  again;  or  in  a  sacrament,  and  presently 
heart-dead  again :  or  afler  answer  to  prayers  mid  some  speciM 
deliverances,  and  then  the  heart  ie  unaftecled  again,  and  a  Itltle 
pang  of  love  roust  content  Christ.  If  he  ccascih  one  momeat 
to  love  thee,  and  to  manifest  it  to  thee,  then  cease  to  love  him; 
if  he  ceascth  not  to  love  thee  dearly,  never  t«  leave  thee,  0| 
then  ever  love  him. 

Object.  Dut  we  have  such  distractions  and  cares. 
AtU.  Men  in  love  will  follow  (heir  work,  and  women  will  do 
the  housewifery  of  the  house,  and  yet  love  is  at  no  time  to  seek 
to  their  husbands  :  and  shall  the  Lord  have  less  ? 

G.   He   loves   ihee  with   an   unmeaBiirable   love.   Rom.  v.   20^ 
"^Vhere  sin  there  gra**  lialh  alwunded."     Hence  (K|ih,  ii.  S,  " 
"love"  and  "great  love."     Verse  7,  "  Eicceeding  riches  of" 
grace."     For  there  is  in  Christ,  — 


\ 


] 


THE   TEN   YIROINS.  91 

1.  A  ggaledjcnre.  One  man  loves  another  exceedingly,  as 
Jonalhan  did  David.  Now,  he  hath  the  perfection  of  all  human 
or  angelical  love  toward  his  people  put  in  him. 

2.  Uncreated  love,  infinite  love  of  a  God,  and  hence  it  is  un-  1 
measurable.     He  thinks  nothing  he  doeth  too  much,  nothing  he  | 
gives  too  dear.     Hence,  when  world  is  slain,  Satan  cast  out, 
when  he  is  oat,  sin  must  out ;  when  some  sins  are  removed,  the 
rest  must ;  when  they  are  out,  then  death  must ;  when  death, 
then  helL     And  when  there  is  no  life,  no  grace,  he  works  it ; 
it  decays,  he  restores  it ;  it  can  not  act,  he  quickens  it ;  it  can 
Dot.  doth  not  grow,  he  waters  it.     He  hath  given  thee  the  earth, 
and  the  days  of  peace  and  patience ;  these  are  too  little.     He 
calls  thee,  and  when  thou  canst  not  come,  draws  thee,  and  gives 
thee  pardon,  that  is  tog  little.     He  gives  earth  to  thee,  that  is 
too  little,  (for  they  are  made  co-heirs  ;)  he  gives  promise  to  thee, 
that  is  too  little ;  he  gives  himself  and  Spirit,  and  can   he  do 
more  ?     Yes  ;  we  can  not  drink  in  all  that  goodness  and  love  ; 
hence  he  gives  eternity  to  thee,  and  he  shall  more  and  more  I 
enlighten  l^ee ;  not  only  let  thy  soul  live  to  hless  him,  but  thy  | 
poor  body,  and  every  dust  of  it,  to  be  raised  up  to  glory  with  / 
him.     What  the  Lord  promised  to  Abraham,  "  In  blessing  I  will 
bless,"  that  portion  is  thine.     O,  now  love  him  without  measure. 

**  O,  how  I  love  thy  law ! "  How  did  David  love  it  ?  I  can  not 
tell ;  but  if  he  loved  the  word  of  Christ,  then  much  more  the 
person  of  Christ,- the  presence  of  Christ,  everlasting  fellowship 
with  Christ  O,  take  heed  of  giving  Christ,  and  measuring  out 
onto  Christ  his  portion,  his  allowance,  that  when  the  Lord  comes 
to  you  for  more  love,  (as  he  doth  daily,)  you  give  him  that  answer 
which  many  do  in  their  practice  —  you  have  let  him  have  as 
much  as  you  can  ;  so  that  you  can  not  spare  any  more  from  your- 
selves, from  a  base  world,  from  wife  and  child  and  creature,  from 
a  slothful  course ;  you  hope  the  Lord  will  accept  of  that  little 
he  hath.  I  confess  that  a  little  water  in  a  spring  is  better  than 
much  that  comes  by  land  floods ;  but  be  sure  it  be  a  spring,  else 
not  accepted.  Beloved,  time  was  you  lived  without  Christ,  did 
nothing  for  him ;  now  you  do,  and  what  thou  dost  this  year, 
didst  last  year,  and  no  more.  Will  you  thus  stint  the  Lord  ? 
Either  do  more,  give  more,  or  mourn  you  can  not.  O,  one  life, 
one  heart  is  too  little  for  him.  It  hath  put  me  to  sad  fears  of 
many  men's  estates  to  see  this  frame,  a  world  of  sin  without 
measure  every  day.  Where  is  the  Christian  that  loves  the 
Lord  every  day  ?  How  can  any  tlien  say  much  is  forgiven,  when 
they  do  not  love  much  ? 

7.  He  loves  thee  now  in  glory,  there  hath  prepared  a  place  for 


9S   ■  THE   PARABLE   OF 

thee,  (Jolin  xiv.  1-3,)  where  he  longs  for  thee.  John  TviL  1 
24.  You  know  Phunioh's  butler,  when  exulted  to  his  plttc«,  for- 
got poor  Jaseph.  One  would  ihink  now  the  Lord  Jeaus  i 
glory,  and  hath  God,  and  angels,  and  hia  kingdom,  to  «>nt(nit  J 
him,  he  shall  never  look  after  euch  a  worm,  such  a  poor  helplei 
creature  as  thee.  But,  as  the  High  Priest  carried  .the  name 
on  hia  breast  and  precious  stones,  so  the  Lord  Jesus  hath  ihj 
name  writ  upon  his  very  heart.  O.  now  love  him  when  he 
ejallB  thee  to  glory,  lo  give  the  kingdom  of  heaven  on  earlli 
fwith  peace  and  quietness.  When  Germany  lies  in  blood,  and 
I  eastern  churches  slain  by  the  dragon,  devoured  by  ihe  Turk, 
when  England's  lights  and  lamps  are  going  out,  no  people  have 
such  peace,  sucli  glory,  in  bo  small  a  time.  Beloved,  now  where 
is  love?  The  churches  of  Christ  never  lost  their  love  so  maiA 
as  when  tliey  had  their  peace,  and  have  been  sixteen  hundred 
years  o-learning,  by  afllictions  and  persecutions,  how  to  enjoy 
their  peace,  and  to  have  their  lovo  smell  aa  sweet  as  when  beaten 
most,  and  yet  have  not,  but,  liko  the  globe  without  the  cross  in 
the  emblem,  rolhng  and  running  farther  and  farther  from  God, 
t'w  truce  quits.  0,  unreasoaable,  lo  lovo  him  least  whom  be 
TWlflers  most.  Does  not  prayer  grow  cold  for  the  name  of' 
Christ  ?  Then  love  grows  cold.  Does  not  plenty  of  means  make 
thy  soul  slight  means  ?  When  you  went  many  miles  to  hear,  and 
had  eutarce  bread  at  home,  O,  you  thought,  if  once  you  had  ench 
liberties ;  but  when  they  are  made  yours,  now  what  fruit  ?  Doet 
not  fail  in  affections  to  saints  ?  O,  lovo  dies  1  Clii'ist  deals  not 
BO  with  lliee,  and  who  knows  but  iji  rocks  and  mountains  of  the 
wilderness  thou  mnyst  lament  those  evils  which  peace  breed* 
now?, 

S.  He  loves  thee  so  as  when  any  evil  touches  thee,  lie  has  m. 

feeling  of  i(,  and  ia  grieved  at  it,  (Judges  x.  16;  Is.  Isiii.  9  ;) 

nay,  ho  then  comforts  thee  most,  boih  in  them  and  by  tbeia* 

John  xiv.  27,  "  Not  a^  the  world  gives  pc-ace,  so  I  give  it  tft 

^K  you."     O,  then,  grieve  thou  for  those  evils  that  betide  him|: 

^L        the  wrongs  that  others  oifer  him,  but  especially  the  unkindneat- 

^H        thy  own  eoul  shows  him.     Hark  v.  3,  He  "mourned  for  tlM'; 

^H        Ikordoess  of  their  heart."     Eph.  iv.  2d,  30.  "  Let  no  corrupt 

^H        communication  proceed  out  of  your  mouth."  and  "  grieve  not 

^^B        the  Holy  GhosL"     Heb.  iii.  10,  "  Forty  years  long  was  1  grieved 

^H        because  they  erred."     I  confess  you  will  wrong  him,  but  will 

^H        you,  must  you  be  impenitent  too?    Did  his  enemies  grieve  him 

^H        on  earth,  aud  shall  Ills  friends  grieve  him  in  lieaveo,  and  tW. 

^H         sorrows,  no  secret  tears  ?    Is  there  no  good  nature  ?    But  wb 

^H         is  (here  no  spirit  of  mourning?    It  maybe  many  n  day 


I 


i 


him 
1  M.  4 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS  93 

week  bast  tboa  grieved  him,  and  not  a  sign  to  any  purpose 
to  ease  thee  of  thj  sin,  but  what  has  eased  thee  in  thj  sin.  O, 
now  comfort  bis  heart  again  after  thou  hast  most  grieved  him ; 
comfort  his  spirit  that  is  dying,  sighing  in  thee ;  as  he  comforts 
thee  by  tby  troubles,  comfort  him  by  making  a  right  use  of  all 
thy  sins  to  be  more  humble,  -more  vile,  to  love  him  the  more, 
and  love  thyself  the  less,  as  the  prodigal  son.  Luke  xv.  18, 
20,  24. 

9.  He  loves  thee  so,  that  though  he  departs,  he  will  not,  does 
not  stay  long  from  thee,  though  you  may  think  it  long.  Is.  liv.  7. 
Hence  it  is  wonder  to  see  when  heart  gone,  love  lost^  life  lost, 
yet  suddenly  thou  art  brought  down  on  thy  knees.  O,  it  is  the 
Lord  that  does  it !  Thou  wast  in  sorrow  of  heart,  he  did  not 
stay  kmg,  but  came  and  comforted  thee  ;  thou  wast  in  thy  sins, 
it  was  not  long  but  he  delivered  thee ;  thou  wast  in  want  of 
knowledge  of  him,  it  has  not  been  long  but  that  he  has  re- 
vealed the  Lord  to  thee;  thou  hast  been  in  afflictions  and 
troubles,  it  has  not  been  long  but  he  has  heard  thee ;  so  give 
him  the  like  love.  I  know  you  will  fall  from  him  in  love, 
in  delight,  in  care;  but  do  not  stay  long  from  him.  Some- 
times the  baits  of  the  world  will  draw  thee  from  him  when 
thou  hast  thy  ease  and  peace ;  O,  think  it  was  better  with  me 
once  than  now  I  when  fears  drive  thee  from  him,  yet  return. 
1  Sam.  xiL  21,  22.  O,  here  is  that  which  hardens  hearts,  breaks 
your  peace,  and  grieves,  the  Lord,  so  as  he  is  forced  to  send  many 
sad  afflictions,  b^^use  you  lie  in  your  falls.  O,  be  not  long,  nor 
far  from  him.  He  returns  to  thee  when  thou  art  most  unkind 
to  him ;  return  when  he  is  ever  kind.  He  returns  to  thee  though 
he  has  no  need  of  thee ;  thou  hast  of  him.  ^'  He  will  not  leave 
thee."     O,  leave  not  him ! 

10.  He  has  from  before  all  worlds  loved  thee,  when  no  reason 
for  it.  Jer.  xxxi.  1-3.  Thou  hast  neglected  to  love  him  long, 
all  thy  youth,  nay,  it  may  be  all  thy  life ;  O,  you  beloved  of  the 
Lord,  begin  to  do  it  now,  when  there  is  all  reason  for  it,  when 
heaven  caidls  for  it,  earth  calls  for  it,  ordinances  plead  for  it.  Spirit 
saith  come,  and  calls  for  it  too.  It  may  be  thy  life  is  not  long. 
What,  not  yet? 

Quett,  But  how  shall  I  come  to  do  this,  thus  to  love  the 
Lord? 

Afu.  The  Lord  only  can  plant,  can  water  this  grace;  yet 
because  the  Lord  does  it  by  means,  I  will  give  you  some 
now. 

I.  Labor  to  find  out  the  true  sweetness,  and  to  taste  the  bit- 
terness Off  the  deceitful  sweetness  of  all  creatures ;  for  this  is  a 


rule  in  reason,  a  tnim's  affe«liona,  like  etreama,  must  run  some 
way ;  and  it  ie  a  rule  in  theology,  slop  ibe  affections  from  run- 
ning  to  Ihe  craalure.  and  in  a  sincere  heart  it  will  run  unto 
\Chri8t,  (Hob,  ii,  6,  7,)  if  it  be  from  all  creatures.  Now,  then, 
the  affection  is  turned  from  the  creature,  when  it  finds  the  bit- 
terness of  the  deceiving  sweetness  of  it;  and,  secondly,  finds 
out  t)ie  real  sweetness  of  it;  for  make  it  as  a  rule,  when  a 
man's  heart  can  not  Io\'e  Christ,  (unless  it  be  when  it  ia  be- 
numbed,) it  is  because  he  has  somewhat  else  to  joy  his  heart  ; 
row,  let  the  creature  yield  you  no  more  joy,  and  Chrisl  has  your 
love  ;  indeed,  you  may  and  must  joy  in  the  real  sweetness  of  it, 
and  this  will  increase,  and  not  diminish  your  love. 

Queit.  Wliat  b  the  real  sweetness  of  the  creature  ? 

A?u.  rhrigt'a  Incp..  O,  see  this !  if  Christ  should  not  love 
thee,  would  not  thy  life  be  death,  thy  salvation  from  many  dan- 
gers be  damnation,  thy  friends  miserable  comforters,  thy  joys 
Borrows?  What  good  would  any  thing  do  lliee  if  thou  hadst 
these  thoughts — all  these  I  have,  but  wrath  with  them?  What 
comfort  can  a  man  take  in  his  feast,  if  news  were  then  brought 
that  aAer  it  is  done,  you  must  go  to  the  stake  to  be  burnt  ?  You 
that  joy  in  your  pastimes,  one  frown  of  Clirist  would  blast  all. 
O,  see  this !  Psatm  Ixiii.  "  Thy  loving  kindness  is  heller  than 
life;  in  thy  favor  is  life."  Now,  joy  for  llus,  and  ihis  will  knit 
your  heart  nearer  to  him.    For  Jesus'  sake,  ponder  this  point. 

Now,  2,  Taste  the  bitterness  of  the  sweetness  remaining  now 
it  is  distilled ;  and  Satan  shows  a  threefold  sweetness,  before,  in, 
and  afler  the  enjoying  of  it. 

Now,  1.  Before,  remember  how  Ihey  have  drawn  away  and 
held  thy  heart  from  God,  done  thee  more  hurt  than  all  afflic- 
tions ;  many  a  sweet  smile  haJst  (hou  had  from  God,  but  for 
them. 

2.  In  the  enjoying  of  it,  it  is  sweet;  but  when  it  ia  sweet  lo 
thee,  it  is  then  most  hitter  to  Ihe  heart  of  God  ;  when  thy  joy 
is  kindled,  the  Lord's  sorrow  is  stirred  up  and  provoked, 

3.  After;  1.  It  will  draw  ihy  heart  from  God;  and,  2.  It 
will  be  hitter  io  thy  belly  at  last.  Whatever  sweetness  draws 
thee  from  the  love  of  Christ,  O,  it  will  be  bitter.  Rom.  vi.  21. 
Chew  npon  this,  and  see  if  any  thing  here  be  worthy  of  your 
joy,  and  if  not,  then  return  to  your  first  husband. 

II.  Taste  the  all-sufficiency  of  the  love  of  Christ,     A  woman 

that  is  not  content  with  her  husband's  love,  she  will  not  love  him 

.    ns  it  is  fit.     Ho  when  other  lbinf;s  make  love  to  us,  and  the  lord's 

j    love  ia  not  enough,  (CanL  i.  4.)   "  More  than    wine."     Hence 

•*  the  upriglit  love  thee."     Do  but  sit  down  juid  think  what  tha 


THE  TEN   yiBOINS.  95 

is :  if  once  be  loves  thee,  whatever  he  can  he  will  do  for  thee ; 
he  will  order  all  thy  Hfe,  not  one  thing  shall  hurt  thee ;  every 
thing  in  providence  shall  work  for  thy  glory,  sins,  sorrows,  etc., 
so  as  thou  shalt  say  his  denials  are  better  than  his  gifts,  his  blows 
better  than  smiles,  his  withdrawings  better  than  his  presence,  these 
evils  better  than  joys,  and  when  once  he  loves  me,  he  will  never 
leave  me ;  that  come  life,  come  death,  I  am  safe.  O,  taste  this  ! 
III.  See  the  Lord  Jesus  now  as  he  is,  and  in  truth  this  were 
enough  to  make  any  profane  heart  love  him,  much  more  a  saint 
espoused  to  him ;  but  the  Lord  has  hid  himself  from  their  ejes. 
Shall  he  be  so,  is  he  so  from  yours  ?  1  Pet  i.  8,  "  When  seeing 
not  with  bodily  eyes,  but  with  faith  ye  love  him."  1  John  iii. 
1-3,  "  We  shall  see  him  as  he  is."  Why,  suppose  the  day  of  I 
doom  was  come,  Christ  in  the  clouds  and  all  creatures  before  him; 
all  angels  ministering  to  him,  in  all  the  glory  of  his  Father  ;  Of 
then,  the  love  of  Christ ;  O,  one  smile,  one  word  of  Christ  would 
be  precious !  Lord,  that  men  should  be  in  a  dream !  See 
Christ  a  little  higher  set  in  his  throne,  a  place  more  glorious, 
though  less  seen,  in  all  the  glory  of  his  Father,  all  mighty  angels 
ministering  to  him,  all  the  world  put  into  his  hand,  doing  what 
he  will,  and  all  he  will ;  why  will  you  not  love  him  now  ?  Is  tlie. 
gor^pel  a  fable  ?  Say  so  if  it  be,  then  love  him  not  if  you  can. 
When  Simeon  and  the  wise  men  saw  him,  though  but  in  his 
abasement,  they  honored  him ;  much  more  now  if  they  see  him  in 
glory.  It  is  a  question  whether  the  beams  of  the  sun  are  fire. 
Some  demonstrate  it  thus :  Take  a  glass  and  gather  together  the 
beams,  it  burns.  Therefore  so,  if  you  would  see  so  as  to  be  af- 
fected, gather  together  the  beams  of  his  glory  and  love  ;  thus 
you  see  the  means  to  get  fit  love ;  and  if  it  be  lost,  O,  now  get  it 
again,  lest  the  Lord  strain  for  it,  else  you  are  not  fit ;  and  if  it 
be  not  any  love  that  sufiUces,  much  less  no  love,  as  in  many  of 
you  ;  but  consider,  (1  Cor.  xvi.  22,)  "  He  that  loves  not  Christ, 
let  him  be  accursed."  O  that  this  might  be  won  from  you !  O, 
little  love  goes  out  to  Christ ;  who  sees  it  not  ?  Ordinances  of 
Christ,  men  are  weary  of  them ;  the  truths  of  Christ,  despise 
them ;  the  servants  of  Christ,  they  quarrel  with  them.  Kow, 
recover  your  love  ;  the  Lord  help  you  so  to  do. 

Section  III. 

JSxkart.  3.  To  do  the  work  of  Christ,  to  be  daily  at  it,  and 
finishing  of  it ;  for  look  as  it  was  with  the  head,  it  is  so  with  all 
the  members  that  are  to  remain  a  while  in  this  life,  they  have 
tome  work  to  do  for.  the  Lord ;  some  common,  some  special  work ; 


» 


96  TDK   l-AUABLE   OF 

and  whOD  tliat  is  done,  now  they  are  ready  to  return  home  agtuih 
Hence,  (John  xvii.  4,  5,)  "  I  Iiuve  fiiii^lied  the  work ; "  and  noiy 
he  elands  at  the  door  and  knocks,  niid  is  ready  for  enlranoe. 

*•  Now,  glorify  mc  with  ihyeelf,"  and  you  shall  tiiid  a  faithfdl 
heart  wilt  neither  be  willing  oor  ready  lo  go  till  ihis  is  done. 

Qiwt.  What  in  this  work  I  am  to  do  ? 

Aiu.  I  have  answered  thia  elsewhere  at  large,  yet  these  lw» 
tilings  I  wonld  say  :  — 

I.  That  a  man's  chief  work  lies  not  in  facile  duties;  for 
though  grace  and  Christ's  Spirit  make  duties  easy,  his  yoke  easy, 
yet  there  is  a  contrary  spirit  that  will  make  them  hard  and  diffl* 
cult  at  firsl. 

~  2.  Lest  I  should  leave  you  unsatisfied  altogether,  we  shall  fiod 
a  Christian  life  is  carried  with  a  double  motion  :  1.  In  seeking 
of  God  in  his  ordinances ;  2.  Or  in  walkini;  with  God  out  of 
his  ordinances  ;  these  are  joined  together.  Gen.  vi.  8,  9,  Noah 
fotmd  grace,  hence  sought  it,  though  not  in  the  eyes  of  the  world  ; 
and  hence  Noah  walked  with  God-  Hence  we  see  Christ  was 
some  time  in  the  mount  alone,  some  time  abroad,  going  up  and 
down  doing  goofl.  Moses  in  the  mount  and  in  the  camp  too. 
Now,  look  as  before  a  man  is  justified,  his  chief  work,  then,  is  to 
seek  God  in  his  onliuances  for  ft.£rincijilei  so  a  sonl  now  e»- 
poused  to  Christ  is  to  walk  wTili  Christ.  Now,  walking  implies 
constant  following  of  another,  or  u  continual  work ;  so  Christ  has 
work  for  you  every  moment.  Hence,  in  every  company,  time, 
place,  temptation,  inquire  thus :  Am  I  not  like  lo  lose  toy  time, 
my  heart,  Christ's  honor?  What  work  hss  Christ  for  me  to  du? 
Hold  here,  for  here  lies  your  work.  Look  as  an  ambitious  man 
asks,  How  serves  this  for  my  honor  ?  and  Satan,  how  he  may 
t  dishonor  Christ ;  so  do  you  ask,  bow  yoii  may  honor  him. 
Bom.  vi.  19,  "As  you  have  given  yourselves  instruments  of 
iniquity,"  etc.  And  now  because  we  live  in  times  and  places 
wherein  men  have  so  much  work  of  their  own  lo  do,  that  Christ 
is  neglected,  wherein  very  few  walk  with  God.  Hence  men, 
taking  men's  examples  for  patterns  and  copies  of  their  course, 
content  themselves  to  do  as  others  do.  And  this  being  a  close 
act,  tuainly  consisting  in  what  is  unseen,  and  because  men  are 
apt  to  put  ofl'  Christ  with  desires,  and  serve  Saian  indeed,  and 
because  apt  to  resolve  all  religion  into  some  two  or  three  duties 
or  graces,  and  because  men's  hearts  are  catching  at  comforts  and 
promises  ;  but  commands  tedious  and  burdensome  —  1  shall  press 
this  upon  these  motives ;  only  here  let  me  premise  when  I  prCM 
you  to  this,  it  b  not  to  a  covenant  of  works,  as  though  you 
act  yourselves,  but  we  look  to  Christ's  blood  and  Spirit  to 


'^ 


THE   TEN   YIBGINS.  97 

tliiiigs.    I  speak  to  ihem  under  grace,  who  have  the  Spirit  with- 
oat  and  faith  within  to  act  and  carry  them  here.     But,  — 

Motive  1.  Whose  work  will  you  do  ?  You  can  not  cease  to  do 
Christ's  work,  but  you  must  do  your  own  work,  (I  speak  not  for 
idleness ;)  L  e.,  you  must  serve  your  lust.  Now,  consider  what 
good  did  thyself  ever  do  thee  ?  nay,  Satan  never  such  as  thy  own 
self.  And  will  you  fall  down  to  such  an  image  ?  Shall  thy 
lusts  have  content  more  and  rather  than  Christ  ? 

2.  Consider  the  Lord  will  take  care  and  charge  of  thee,  to  do 
thy  mork,  to  bring  about  thy  ends  for  thee,  do  but  thou  do  his. 
Martha  was  cumbered  about  many  things,  hence  forsook  the  bet- 
ter part ;  so  men  neglect,  forget  Christ's  work,  because  of  so 
many  distractions  of  ^eir  own.  What  will  become  of  my  hun- 
dred talents  ?  What  will  become  of  my  wife,  child  ?  Now,  do 
yon  take  care  of  the  Lord's  work,  take  that  for  your  charge, 
and  the  Lord  will  take  charge  of  you.  The  best,  readiest,  and 
only  way  to  have  your  own  ends  is  to  seek  the  Lord's  and  forget 
your  own.  As  in  Solomon,  his  great  work  and  care  was  to  rule 
a  state  well,  and  the  Lord  gave  all  the  rest.  Set  thy  face  to  the 
sun,  and  these  shadows  will  follow  you.  The  servant  takes 
charge  of  his  master's  work,  and  he  need  not  trouble  himself  for 
meat  and  drink,  and  e  contra, 

Firtt.  There  shall  not  any  evil  hurt  thee,  whereas  else  thy 
good  things  shalL  Is.  xxvii.  3. 

Secondly,  All  creatures  in  heaven  and  earth  shall  serve  that 
man  that  serves  his  Gk>d,  (Hos.  ii.  21,  23;)  whereas  else  they 
groan  under  thee. 

Thirdly,  Angels  shall  come  out  of  heaven  to  guard  thee. 

Fourthly,  Nay,  the  Lord  Jesus  himself  shall  stand  at  the  top 
of  the  ladder,  that  when  every  thing  else  shall  leave  thee,  he 
shall  then  bring  the  best  wine  at  last ;  he  will  be  a  portion  to 
thee.  Ps.  xvi. ;  Phil.  iii.  8. 

3.  Consider  that  the  more  difficult  any  duty  is,  the  more  sweet- 
ness shall  you  receive  if  you  break  through  it ;  men  plead  diffi- 
culty, I  plead  gain.  Hence  he  that  overcomes  shall  eat  of  the 
hidden  manna.  Hence  never  any  so  comforted,  honored,  as 
Christ ;  because  never  any  went  tlirough  so  hot  a  work  for  the 
Father  as  Christ.  Phil.  ii.  You  plead  the  difficulty  of  a  Chris- 
tian life,  and  taste  not  the  sweetness  of  that  life.  If  you  can  do 
no  more  than  what  is  easy  and  pleaseth  self,  the  Lord  will  never 
let  you  taste  the  sweetness  of  pleasing  him.  Have  you  not 
sometimes  found  your  hearts  dead  to  prayer  ?  Yet  you  fell  to 
it,  and  then  would  not  but  have  took  the  season  for  a  world. 

4.  Consider,  let  the  duty  be  to  nature  impossible,  yet  the-  Lord 

VOL.  II.  9 


I 


is  at  hand  to  help,  even  when  no  stren^h.  la.  xl.  29.  Ntij 
(Heb.  xi.  34,)  "  Out  of  weakness  were  inadi;  strong," 
bud  no  Clirist,  no  Spirit,  no  promises  to  assure  you  of  hi  _  _ 
might  then  cease  tiding,  and  say.  It  is  impossible  I  should  ever 
overcome  such  evils,  attain  to  that  measure  ;  but  when  promises 
to  assure,  and  Christ  and  Spirit  at  hand,  now  to  plead  impossi- 
bility is  to  reproach  the  Lord  ;  to  think  he  will  Get  his  people  to 
make  brick  and  ^ve  them  no  siraw  ;  nay,  lo  war  against  God, 
and  to  make  the  Lord  war  against  you.  Num.  xiv.  You  know 
how  they  cried  out  of  impossibihties,  and  how  the  Lord's  anger 
rose  when  they  were  ready  to  euter  Canaan.  So  when  men  are^ 
ready  to  enter  upon  possession  of  Christ  and  promises,  then  im- 
possibilities appear.  Consider,  therefore,  what  the  Lord  did  tor 
David,  Gideon,  Samson,  who  went  out  in  the  name  and  Spirit 
of  the  Lord,  and  were  helped.  If  you  were  under  the  law,  you 
might  plead  this ;  but  under  grace,  it  is  horrible  (o  moke  this 
excuse. 

5.  C-onsider,  if  the  Lord  do  not  help,  (aa  he  will  be  free.)  yet 
he  will  accept  thy  will ;  I  know  he  will  not  accept  the  wishes 
of  servants,  yet  tie  will  accept  llie  will  of  sons ;  neither  will  he 
accept  Ihe  will  of  sons  in  a  work  they  might  hare  strength  from 
him  tu  do,  and  go  not  to  him  for  it ;  but  in  that  case  he  will,  as 
2  Cor.  xii.  9  ;  u  e.,  it  is  enough,  I  accept  thee  ;  and  this  is  very 
sweet,  that  for  his  own  sake  he  should  be  pleased  as  well  with 
the  will  as  with  the  work ;  for  this  is  that  which  troubles,  I 
would  have  help,  the  Lord  gives  none.  Why,  the  Lord  accepts 
of  It  as  if  thou  didst  it,  as  in  David's  building  a  temple.  For  a 
ChriBtian'a  work  is  done  two  ways. 

Firal.  Sometimes  by  feeling,  when  we  feel  help. 

SeconrBg.  Sometimes  by  fajlh,  by  going  to  another  for  it ;  and 
this  the  Lord  accepts  most  mercifully,  for  this  is  his  victory  over 
all  sin,  even  his  faith.  When  we  see  a  duty  hard,  and  do  not 
go  to  the  Lord  for  lielp,  then  wo  are  overcome  properly ;  for 
out  of  the  abundance  of  the  heart  the  person  acts  for  ChrisL 

6.  Consider,  the  Lord  will  honor  thee,  (though  the  work  dolh 
not.)     John  xii.  26,  "  Him  will  my  Father  honor,"  both  in  this 

,  life  (Bom.  ii.  29)  and  in  that  to  come.  Now,  as  it  is  in  acting 
parts,  it  is  no.  matter  what  fellow-actors  think,  God  is  the  great 
spectator,. 'God  Itrill  esteem  of  thee,  and  conscience  (thall  witness 
as  much  when  no  eye  sees,  or  when  men  see  and  judge  amiss, 
yet  the  Lord  approves ;  and  at  the  gruat  day,  before  men,  an- 
gels, and  all  the  world,  (I  Cor.  iv.  5.)  "Then  shall  every  man 
have  praise  of  God;"  and  hence  {Matt,  xxv.)  Christ's  judg- 
ment is  made  according  to  the  works  of  his  people ;  ber^use  tfaea 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  99 

they  shall  not  be  compared  with  themselves  and  their  sins,  but!  \ 

with  the  wicked ;  and  hence  to  set  out  their  glory,  he  reckons  1  jV'^i 
up  all  they  have  done.  All  men,  in  all  their  acts,  seek  to  avoid  .  /  *-^ 
shame  and  attain  honor.  Now,  if  you  did  know  a  way  for  all  I  ^  ;0 
men  in  the  world  to  honor  you,  would  you  not  attend  it  ?  Wliat  '^J  J 
are  their  dreams  to  Grod's  honor  ?  Hence  not  one  act  but  is  now  ^ 
chronicled,  (Mai.  iii.  16 ;)  and  afterward  rewarded.  1  Cor.  xv.  ^ 

58.     O,  then,  give  content  to  the  Lord.  \ic^-, 

7.  Consider  the  peace  you  shall  have  by  this  means,  both  '^  ,     ' 
while  you  live  and  when  you  die.     What  is  the  cause  of  so   '" '  ^v 
many  dolefhl  clamors  of  conscience  but  a  loose,  careless  heart ?  O' 
The  Lord  is  neglected ;  that  when  one  pleads  faith,  it  will  be 
replied,  the  true  faith  is  the  "  faith  of  the  Son  of  Grod."     Now, 

is  the  faith  of  Grod  a  careless  faith,  a  secure,  worldly,  impeni- 
tent, dead  faith  ?  You  may  sit  down  and  rise  again,  and  say, 
Tme,  yet  I  will  believe ;  so  you  may,  but  it  will  be  with  such 
a  trembling  spirit  as  you  will  find  no  peace.  Neither  do  I 
know  how  any  can  keep  his  peace  otherwise,  for  there  are  chil- 
dren but  still-bom ;  if  bom  a  living  son,  thou  wilt  live  to  God, 
necessarily  I  must  do  it  But  by  this  means,  O,  there  is  un- 
speakable peace.  Matt.  xi.  29,  30.  Hence  Paul,  "I  have 'fin- 
i<thed  my  work,"  etc  John  xiv.  21-24.  You  live  without  God, 
and  walk  without  Grod,  and  pray  without  Grod ;  but  there  is  a  day 
approaching  that  you  shall  appear  before  the  Lord  Jesus.  You 
fthall  wish  then  —  O  that  I  had  lived  so  and  so  !  O,  do  that  now. 

8.  Consider  the  Lord  will  have  it  done ;  it  must  be  done. 
Hence  Paul  said,  "  Necessity  lies  upon  me,  and  woe  to  me,"  etc. 
The  Lord  should  be  forsworn  if  he  should  not  bring  you  to  it. 
Luke  i.  73-75,  "According  to  the  oath,"  etc.  Beloved,  you 
think  lazy  desires  will  serve.  No,  it  must  be  done.  You  say, 
I  can  not ;  it  must  be  better  with  you.  And  hence  look  for  a 
ro«U  and  that  the  Lord  will  bring  you  into  great  affliction  till  all 
i^i  removed,  and  so  purge  you  ;  and  if  otie  affliction  will  not  do 
it,  then  worse  shall  come ;  he  loves  you  better  than  so.  And 
remember  you  have  had  warning  this  day  ;  you  came  hither  for 
the  lord's  work,  and  now  your  own  jostles  it  out.  Look  that 
(rr*t\  will  take  away  the  kingdom  from  you,  or  set  oppressors 
civer  you,  or  send  some  stings  among  you  ;  and  then  say,  O,  I 
may  thank  my  walking  unworthy  of  God  and  gospel  for  this. 

H.  Consider,  else  you  will  make  the  blood  of  Christ  shed  of  no 
effVct.  2  Cor.  v.  14,  15.  Now,  wicked  men  need  not  fear  this, 
no  blood  shed  for  them.  Will  you  do  so  ?  Grod  forbid.  The 
Jf  wj?  have  killed  him ;  will  you  drag  him  up  and  down  the  streets, 
trample  on  his  blood,  and  put  him  to  open  shame  ? 


I 


I 


100  1 

10.  Consider  your  lime  ie  but  short,  and  yoa  have  done  bat 
little  work,  nnd  it  is  not  long  but  that  yotir  crown  shall  be  pat 
upon  your  bead.  It  is  Doted  of  Enocli  (Gen.  v.)  thai  he  walked,- 
with  God  three  hundred  years,  (and  tliat  having  sons  and  daugb^ 
ters,  having  family  contentmentd  and  encumbrances,)  andhelive^l' 
the  Bhorlest  time.  I  am  sure  angels  are  content  to  come  onl  of'; 
heaven  to  do  the  work  of  God.  What!  not  do  it  here?  Pad-^ 
thought  himself  born  too  soon,  because  for  a  time  he  lived  with-- 
out  Christ.  O,  but  now  make  trial,  and  you  will  find  it  the 
sweetest  life,  that  you  will  say,  Why  have  I  neglected  this  w- 
long  ?  And  if  thou  dost  not  find  seven  times  more  peace  theraa- 
than  in  the  world,  never  set  foot  here. 

Qveit.  How  shall  I  thus  do  the  work  of  Christ? 

Arts.  I.  "  Without  Christ  you  can  do  nothing."  John  xt.  5. 
The  sun  runs  still,  because  it  is  light  of  itself;  so  when  the  Lord 
ia  in  you,  you  will  do  so.  Uence  go  not  out  to  any  duly  in  your 
own  strength ;  for  then  you  will  either  not  do  it,  or  not  hold  ont 
in  it.  No  man  can  hold  out  at  his  work  that  feeds  not  abun- 
dantly on  his  meat;  so  here.     And  here  note  but  these  two 

1.  Do  not  only  in  onlinances  do  thus,  but  out  of  ordinances  ; 
then,  as  in  iwrticular  times  of  trial,  (for  the  Lord  will  not  give 
you  in  an  ordinance  ne  much  grace  as  shall  serve  you  out  of 
it,)  litl  up  your  hearts  to  Christ,  and  say,  as  Christ,  "  Falhor, 
the  hour  is  come ;  now  glorify  thy  name."  John  xii.  28.  So, 
Lord,  here  is  work  to  do,  but  a  dead  heart  is  upon  roe ;  Lord, 
glori^  tliy  name.  I  have  seldom  seen  but  the  Lord  either 
helped  then,  or  at  some  other  time  when  thou  didst  come,  and 
then  the  Lord  puis  thee  in  remembrance  that  it  is  out  of  respect 
to  that. 

2.  Thus  coming  and  feeding  on  the  Lord  Jesus,  believe  that:  ^ 
he  will  help,  and  that  shall  be  so ;  some  have  never  got  streng^  1 
a^inst  sin  till  then,  Imt  this  has  conquered  difficulties.     Rmo. 
viii.  37.  38,  "Jn  all  these  things  we  overcome;  for  I  am  per- 

1  euaded,"  etc  So  you  coming  helpless  to  Christ,  all  his  strength 
is  yours  by  covenant.     Be  persuaded  he  can  not  go  from  bis 

I  word ;  but  we  must  use  other  means  sonctiiied  by  Christ,  fcir 
Christ  worketh  by  means.     And,  therefore,  —  " 

11.  Find  out  where  the  cause  of  all  your  negligence  and  slot 
lies  in  not  doing  the  Lord's  work :  nay,  of  your  doing  Satatf 
work.  It  may  be  you  wilt  say  you  can  not.  I  know  there  ■ 
that  in  saints  in  parts ;  but  tliis  is  not  the  main,  therefore  I  n 
Icll  you  thus:  — 

1.  Before  conversion,  the  main  wound  of  men  is  their^ 


THE  TEN   YIRGINS.  101 

Video  meUora  probogue^  detertara  sequor.     Hence,  (John  viii.  t 

4i)  -  His  lusts  ye  wiU  do."     Hence,  (Matt  xxiii.  37,)  "  You  v 

woold  not"     They  say,  hence,  we  have  a  will ;  I  say,  no.     And  \ 

hence  we  answer  that  great  objection  for  possibilities  to  keep  all    ) 

laws  by  nniyersal  grace,  which  it  is  unjust  to  punish  for  not  doing    ! 

that  a  man  can  not  do.    We  answer,  there  is  a  double  impotency,    ' 

a  in^rmitaU  or  ex  maUgnitaie,  when  men  will  not   Prov.  xi.   r 

12,  l'3.  ' 

2.  Hence  it  follows  after  conversion,  though  the  will  is  changed, 
so  that  a  man  would,  but  can  not  do  many  things,  ex  infirmitcUe  ; 
jet  the  great  cause  why  he  can  not  do  more  is  from  the  remnant 
of  malignity  not  yet  removed.  A  man  will  sleep ;  he  loves  it, 
and  secretly  loathes  the  ways  of  the  Lord.  Hence  the  church 
(Is.  xliii.  17)  complains  of  this.  A  man  shall  find  his  heart 
wiUs  the  end  exceedingly,  but  when  he  comes  to  will  the  means, 
there  his  heart  is  weary  of  them,  and  loathes  them ;  a  man  will 
be  careless,  and  this  being  not  seen,  is  not  fought  against.  Sin 
i.4  vilified,  and  hence  the  enemy  to  all  good  remains  still.  It  is 
an  old  rule,  tantum  pouumus,  quantum  volumus.  Get  Christ  to 
help  here. 

3.  Make  this  your  last  end,  to  live  unto  Christ  and  to  do  his 
work.  Hence  Paul  did  not  account  his  life  dear.  This  is  your 
last  end ;  for  the  end  of  being  bom  by  faith,  nay,  of  being  re- 
deemed by  blood,  it  is  to  live  unto  Christ.  Tit.  ii.  11.  When 
yoQ  cry  for  faith,  and  peace,  and  assurance,  that  is  not  your  end ;  [/ 
for  he  that  does  so  is  a  very  hypocrite,  and  has  a  false  heart; 
but  it  is  to  live  to  Christ  Hence  Paul  (Phil.  iii.  0,  10,  12,  13) 
sought  to  be  found  in  him,  but  further  to  know  him,  etc.  The 
Father  is  glorified  in  our  bringing  forth  much  fruit  Hence 
make  it  your  last  end,  and  then  your  happiness  will  lie  in  acting 
thus,  and  that  is  a  man's  happiness  he  is  carried  to  with  most 
infinite  delight  For  press  people  to  do  Christ's  work,  their 
hearts  are  dead  ;  tell  them  the  Lord  Jesus  shall  have  a  name  by 
what  they  do  for  him,  yet  dead,  because  that  is  not  their  last  end. 
But  come  to  this,  now*it  will  do ;  a  man  can  not  bear  a  cross, 
yet.  let  him  consider  the  Lord  shall  gain  though  I  do  not ;  so 
fur  faith,  so  for  any  other  duty.  Men  think  it  good,  but  not 
their  greatest  good.  Hence  see  Christ  better  than  thyself,  and 
his  honor  better  than  thy  glory  forever.  Hence  the  Lord  de- 
nies OS  help,  because  we  ask  it  for  our  lusts,  not  for  himself. 
James  iv.  3. 

4.  Keep  those  glorious  apprehensions  of  the  Ix)rd  and  his 
ways  which  you  have  sometimes  in  an  ordinance.  You  ai*e 
sometimes  near  the  Lord,  and  you  then  see  a  beauty  in  Christ, 

9* 


lOS  THE  rAKABLE   OF 

in  his  ways,  tind  (lien  thinke^t.  Slinll  I  ever  nrong  him  moi 
Then  shall  jou  come  and  lose  your  liglil,  and  so  you  ever  1 
your  atrengih  and  life.  Hence  Ejili.  v.  1 1.  It  ia  as  wiih  a  n 
Uiat  cats,  but  he  lostth  and  sjiendeth  his  spirits ;  he  can  do  no 
more  work,  but.  faints  away.  See  2  I'el.  ii.  9.  Stephen  can 
be  cont«nt  to  have  stones  about  his  ears,  when  he  can  say,  "  I 
Eee  Jesits."  And  hence,  when  those  glorious  appreheDMons  come 
into  your  minds,  stwrap  them  there  ;  for  aet  up  other  images  of 
other  things,  your  minds  and  yoiir  hearts  will  bow  down  every 
moment  to  them.  Does  not  Christ's  Spirit  do  all?  Yes;  but 
by  this  medium.     2  Cor.  iii.  IS,  "As  by  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord." 


v.jU.J'  ;^*^"«K^A' 


i 


Section  IV. 

Use  4.  After  you  have  done  your  work  be  ever  liumble,  and 
be  ready  to  give  the  Lord  the  honor  of  his  grace,  llial  ever  he 
gave  any  thing  to  yon,  tbat  ever  he  did  wiy  thing  by  you  ;  for 
the  Inst  end  of  all  the  elect,  it  is  to  admire  and  honor  the  richea 
of  God's  grace.  £ph.  i.  5,  6.  Hence  the  fall  was  permitted  ; 
1  Devcr  should  grace  have  he^u  seen,  if  gin  and  misery  had  oat 
'  come  in.  Now,  if  this  be  our  last  end  in  glory,  then  the  heart 
'  is  ready  to  hare  immediate  fellowship  with  Christ  there,  when 
it  is  ready  to  act  for  its  last  end.  Hence  it  is  frequent,  in  the 
Psalms,  when  David  was  in  any  strait,  wanted  any  mercy,  nay, 
the  presence  of  the  Lord  here,  tliis  ia  the  last  end  he  pursues, 
the  \asl  word  he  speaks  before  tbe  Lord,  **  My  soul  shall  blcsa 
thee,"  as  Fs.  Ixiii.  3,  4  ;  and  hence,  when  oil  his  enemies  were 
BuMucd,  and  he  ready  to  lay  all  in  tbe  dust,  he  gives  the  Lord 
alL  2  Sam.  xxii.  per  totum,  and  sxiii.  5.  Beloved,  this  is  Heav- 
en's work.  0,  learn  this  song  before  you  go  there,  which  none 
can  learn  hut  the  redeemed  and  scaled  of  the  Lord.  Rev.  xiv. 
S  i  John  i.  14.  It  is  writ  of  Christ,  he  was  "  full  of  grace  and 
truth."  Do  you  ever  think  to  meet  with  him  that  get  not  yonr 
hearts  full  of  the  sense  of  it?  i 

Before  I  come,  therefore,  to  press  this,  I  shall  premise  theW  <a 
two  things: —  4 

First.  That  the  Lord,  in  all  his  dealings  with  bis  people,  seek*  ^ 
lastly  to  bring  about  the  glory  of  his  grace.  He  regards  nothing 
men  do,  if  at  last  they  deny  him  this  ;  he  reiipects  not  wliat  bhu 
and  evils  men  have,  if  at  last  he  gels  this,  for  this  is  his  last  end. 
Hence  all  he  iloih  lo  his  people,  for  his  people,  by  his  people,  ' 
is  for  this.     And  hence, — 

1.  He  leaves  them  a  long  time  in  their  graves  and 
they  live  like  ottier  men,  which  is  strangtt.  Ilmt  be  that 


rio'^fl 


...  c.      rv"  A 


-■^•$^^c^r:>-^ 


THE   TEN   VIBOINS.  ^f^'  C: 


;!^         c>'  ^  103 


them  80  long  should  leave  them  so  long  to  be  as  bad  as  any ;  yet 
this  he  doth,  because  it  makes  for  the  praise  of  his  grace; 
(Eph.  iL  4,  7,  8,)  '^  Dead  in  sin,  that  in  ages  to  come,"  etc.  And 
this  doth  so  confound  Grod's  people  that  they  wish  not  only  heav- 
en, bat  earth,  and  ages  to  come  may  record  this  love. 

2.  Hence  out  of  men  fallen  he  picks  out  usually  the  poorest 
and  vOest,  the  younger  brother  less  loved  out  of  a  family,  leaves 
elder,  (Rom.  ix.  11;)  and  "  the  foolish  and  weak  things,  and 
things  that  are  not,  that  no  flesh  might  glory  but  in  the  Liord," 
(1  Cor.  L  26,  31 ;)  and  this  is  strange  that  the  Lord  should 
choose  thus,  but  this  he  doth  to  blur  the  glory  of  all  the  world. 

3.  Hence  the  Lord  saves  by  faith,  and  justifies  by  faith,  and 
seals  by  faith,  (Eph.  i.  13,)  and  sanctifies  by  faith,  and  glorifies 
by  faith.  1  Pet.  i.  3.  So  that  all  a  Christian's  life  is  a  beg- 
gar's life,  and  it  is  strange  the  Lord  should  choose  the  basest, 
poorest  grace  to  save  by ;  and  the  end  is  the  glory  of  his  grace. 
Rom.  iv.  16.     It  is  of  faith  that  it  might  be  of  grace. 

4.  The  Lord  leaves  many  wants  in  his  people,  under  which 
they  sit  sighing,  and  that  sometime  very  long,  refuseth  to  hear 
their  prayers,  that  they  may  repair  to  the  throne  of  grace,  and 
so,  in  conclusion,  bless  grace.    Heb.  iv.  16. 

5.  Hence  the  Lord  takes  away  sometimes  those  feelings,  those 
enlargements  they  had,  and  baits  them  with  most  vexing  sins 
and  pricking  distempers,  (2  Cor.  xii.  7,  9 ;)  and  it  is  to  advance 
grace. 

6.  Hence  the  Lord  is  sometimes  angry  with  his  people,  andl 
hides  his  face  from  them,  that  if  ever  he  returns  in  love,  his) 
grace  may  be  the  sweeter  and  last  the  longer.    Is.  liv.  7.     Nay, ! 
hence  sometimes  strips  them  so  of  all  that  they  have  had,  or  can 
do,  that  if  you  ask,  What  have  you  now  to  say  for  yourselves  ? 
Nothing  but  grace ;  their  mouths  are  stopped.     Hence,  (Ps.  vi.,) 
"  Lord,  save  me  for  thy  mercies'  sake  ;"  (Ps.  li.  11,)  "Accord- 
ing to  the  multitude  of  thy  mercies,"  etc. 

7.  Hence  the  Lord  speaks  peace  to  his  people,  that  they  may 
say,  I  was  so  vile,  and  yet  loved.  O  grace  !  O  love !  Ezek.  xvi. 
63.  When  they  see  nothing  but  shame,  and  shame  covers 
them,  and  are  afraid  to  appear  before  God,  it  is  for  this  end.  I 
will  name  no  more.  Do  you  not  observe  it  ?  Sometimes  you  i 
shall  find  the  Lord  so  strangely  carrying  matters  as  if  he  did  not 
love  nor  care  for  his  people,  against  the  hair  and  grain  of  their 
desires,  and  when  all  comes  to  winding  up,  it  is  to  advance  grace. 
All  a  man's  good  days  and  bad  davs,  all  God's  frowns  and  smiles, 
all  the  Lord's  food  and  physic,  fltfjrod  cares  for,  works,  plota 
for,  it  is  to  do  his  people  no  more^rart  than  this,  to  advance  his 


V  f 


104 

-^  grace  in  them  and  by  ibem.  All  his  hewing  and  liammeringa 
of  jou,  nay,  his  knocking  you  to  piei«s,  and  new  nteltitii;  and 
new  casting  of  you,  it  13  that  yoii  may  be  vesstla  of  his  glorioits 
flgrace,  tliat  you  may  be  able  to  Hve  in  tbe  air  of  God's  grace,  to 
I  euck  in  and  breathe  out  grace  ;  and  let  all  the  power  of  hell  seek 
1  to  blur  it,  yet  grace  shall  conquer.  Who  would  not  \>e  under 
grace  ?  0,  poor  creature !  Satan  h  tempting,  sin  vexing,  yet 
grace  must  reign. 

Steoniily.  This  I  say,  that  God's  own  people  do,  by  stranga 
ways  and  courses,  deny  the  Lord,  and  deprive  the  Lord  of  ihs 

I  glory  of  his  rich  grace ;  for  that  being  the  diamond  ia  God^ 
crown,  and  the  beloved  attribute  which  God  intends  to  advance, 
all  the  policy  of  hell  is  ngaJTret  this.  Tliis  is  the  reason  why 
Satan's  enmity  is  so  bitter  against  faith,  as  in  Peter ;  and  oIh- 
serve,  however  there  may  be  many  temptations,  bis  end  is  to 
crush  faith.  The  reason  is,  as  it  is  with  an  enemy,  if  the  be- 
sieged has  water  brought  to  the  city  by  pipes,  he  cuts  ofT  them 
and  stops  them  ;  so  faith  f^cbing  all  from  grace  and  returning 
all  to  grace,  hence  faith  is  opposed  most,  and  hence  the  iinre- 
generate  part  will  take  Satan's  part,  and  doth  strangely  rob  tfas 
Lord  of  the  glory  of  this,  though  I  confess  the  Lord  will  have  it 
for  oil  that  tJiey  seek  to  scatter  it.  Is.  xliii.  21,  23.  It  is 
strange  to  see  how  few  plot  for  the  pmise  of  grace.  Hence  how 
many  are  straitened  ;  nay,  do  cross  Christ  in  this.     As, — 

1.  If  the  Lord  gives  them  not  what  grace  they  would,  then 
they  slight  what  little  he  bestows ;  and  if  he  gives  them  much, 
then  they  solace  themselves  in  it,  and  grow  pufied  up  sod  proud. 
It  is  the  temper  of  God's  own  people  to  set  up  such  a  measure 
of  God's  grace  and  Spirit  which  they  would  have,  and  therein 
they  do  well.  Paul  (Phil.  iii.  U)  looked  lo  (he  resarreetion  of 
,  the  dead  ;  but  if  the  Lord  denies  them  that,  (as  he  will  make 
his  people  live  from  band  to  moutli,)  they  slight  what  they  have, 
either  as  if  all  were  but  hypocrisy,  or  because  it  is  little,  not  so 
much  as  they  would  have,  and  herein  they  do  ill ;  for  hero  the 
■  Lord  loseth  the  glory  of  some  grace,  for  it  is  gi'oee  tltnt  you  have 
the  least  desires  after ;  nay,  that  you  do  but  know  what  it  is  and 
Bee  the  want  of  it,  and  yet  ever  complaining  and  never  rejoicing; 

tfor  every  degree  of  grace  in  Boinls  is  virtually  saving,  thon^ 
formally  common.  But  suppose  the  Lord  fills  the  bottle  full,  and 
gives  as  much  peace,  alTections.  enlargcnients  of  heart  as  it  has 
almost  required,  (for  there  are  spring  tides  and  overflowing  timet 
of  God's  Spirit,)  now  they  are  ready  lo  swell  and  be  puffed 
above  measure,  as  Paul ;  ^H'or.  xii.  7,)  "  Lest  I  should  be 
"'  fo". 


isjfilUov* 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  105 

they  desire  an  excellency  in  themselves ;  hence,  when  they  find 
none  of  their  own,  they  are  apt  to  deck  and  set  out  themselves 
with  what  the  Lord  has  done,  and  so  to  joy  in  this,  and  now  to 
think  themselves  better  than  others  of  God's  saints,  whereas  they 
should  be  more  vile  and  advance  grace  the  more.  Eph.  iii.  8, 
'•  To  me,  the  least  of  saints."  And  hence  the  Lord,  after  greatest 
deliverances  and  mercies,  sends  great  sorrows,  as  to  them  in  the 
wilderness.  Hence  the  Lord  takes  away  afflictions,  and  they 
die,  that  grace  might  be  the  more  advanced. 

2.  If  the  sins  of  their  hearts  are  common,  and  can  not  be  re- 
moved, and  so  seem  little,  then  they  pass  them  by,  and  never 
take  notice  of  them,  God  will  pardon  them,  and  hence  the  Lord 
has  sad  dmes  of  reckoning  (with  a  rod  in  his  hand)  with  his 
own  people.  £zek.  vi.  9.  That  those  loose  times  are  heavy 
times,  this  is  for  my  neglect,  etc. ;  but  hereby  grace  loseth  glory ; 
for  bow  can  they  see  how  deeply  they  are  indebted  to  the  Lord, 
if  they  see  not  their  debt  ?  On  the  other  side,  if  their  sins  be 
very  violent,  and  their  distempers  so  strong  that  they  think  none 
like  me,  now  their  hearts  sink  and  die  away  and  grow  discouraged, 
and  all  the  use  they  make  is  this,  I  think  it  will  never  be  better 
with  me ;  and  can  there  be  life  for  me  so  dead,  deliverance, 
redemption  for  me  in  such  bondage,  love  for  one  that  can  not 
but  loathe  myself?  and  if  otliers  did  know  me  they  would  do  so 
too.  Qm  the  Lord  love  me  now  ?  Yes,  beloved,  that  he  can 
and  will.  Is.  Ixiii.  16,  *^  Though  Abraham  know  us  not,  yet,'* 
etc.  But  here  is  your  sin,  when  you  should  make  this  use  of 
all,  to  feel  the  more  need  of  grace  to  pity,  and  say,  the  more 
precious  shall  grace  be  to  me  forever.  Your  hearts  now  sink.  The 
Lonl  brings  his  people  into  very  low  condition,  to  humble  them 
and  to  show  them  more  of  his  grace.  Ps.  Ixxviii.  19,  "  Can 
God  prepare  a  table  ?  "  They  spake  therein  against  God.  So 
it  is  here  ;  for  herein  the  Lord's  grace  is  seen,  to  love  them  when 
lepers. 

3.  Grace  that  has  been  shown  for  times  past,  they  forget  it. 
2  Pet.  i.  9.  And  what  is  this  but  destroying  God's  grace  ?  For 
why  is  grace  so  precious  at  first  conversion,  that  heaven  and 
earth  are  too  little  to  hold  praises  enough  for  it  ?  And  afterward, 
the  Lord  has  little  love ;  O,  you  forget  what  once  you  were, 
and  what  the  Lord  has  done.  Hence  1  Tim.  i.  13, 14.  I  was  so 
and  so,  etc.;  but  now  have  received  abundant  grace.  You 
have  had  many  meetings  with  God,  many  answers  from  God, 
many  consolations  and  times  of  refreshing  and  reviving,  and 
the^e  forgotten  and  buried,  the  life  of  them  after  a  year  or  two 
expired.     And  what  is  this  but  eclipsing  God's  grace  ?    On  the 


( 


106  THE   rARADLE   OF 

Other  side,  as  for  gnwe  for  time  to  come,  they  fear  i' 
when  worms  anJ  no  men  in  their  own  ej'es.  Hence,  soirh  C 
"Fear  not.  wonii  Jacob."  Is.  xVu  14.  There  U  a  certiun 
Timog  spirit,  (ns  one  once  told  me.)  that  until  that  was  pulled 
out,  DO  honor  can  the  Lord  get.  Before  you  come  to  word  or 
prayer,  thou  wilt  fear  thon  shall  never  get  any  good  ;  and  when 
the  Lord  gives  any,  tbou  wilt  fear  thou  shalt  never  hold  out ; 
and  what  promise  soever  is  made,  thou  wilt  fear  thou  shalt  never 
find  it.  And  what  doea  this  but  eclipse  grace?  We  should  go 
with  boldnesa  to  the  throne  of  graee ;  nay,  henee,  let  the  Lord 
send  never  so  much  mercy  for  the  jiresent,  a  fear  will  cut  off'  i 
all,  that  all  this  will  rise  up  in  judgment  against  me.  ■ 

4.  When  they  ore  most  6t  to  honor  God's  grace  by  failh,  ninfl 
they  will  not  believe,  not  then  above  any  other  time ;  for  then  •<  < 
man  is  most  fit  to  honor  grae*  when  he  feels  most  need  of  it; 
and  when  hath  he  most  need,  but  when  he  feels  most  emptiness  ? 
Why,  now,  above  any  other  time,  a  nian  will  not  come  in,  but 
will  have  somewhat  in  himself  first,  and  then  he  will,  when  hia 
heart  is  so  and  so  sweetly  settled,  etc.  Hence  (Luke  liv.)  poor, 
and  blind,  and  lame,  and  halt, compelled  to  come  in.  One  would 
think  there  needed  not  that ;  but  now  when  fittest,  now  they  will 
not.  For  let  any  man  observe  what  would  endear  his  heart  so 
much  to  grace  as  this  —  to  think  if  it  be  the  I^ord's  mind  to  save 
a  poor,  dead,  damned  creature,  then  happy  I !  This  is  wonder- 
ful; this  hath  quickened  dead  love,  and  dead  faith,  and  a  dead 
heart.     And,  on  the  other  side,  if  the  Loi'd  delay,  if  it  comes 

(not  at  (heir  own  time,  then  they  distrust  it     Grace,  alaa  I  I  feel 
myself  never  a  whit  belter.     For  there  be  two  things  in  faith. 
First.  A  coming  to  Christ,  which  is  our  work ;  i.  e.,  Giod'a 

Secondly.  Receiving  what  I  come  for  from  Christ,  which  ia 
the  Lord's  work.  Now,  the  first  gives  evidence  he  shall  have  it. 
John  vi.  35,  37.  Hence  the  Lord  will  have  them  rejoice  in 
what  Christ  hath,  as  "  my  grace  is  suflicient ;  "  but  if  it  comes 
not  presently,  then  they  cast  ofi' faith,  and  so  cast  away  grace,  I 
feci  DO  good  ;  hence  John  iv.  48,  etc.  I  know  there  is  a  seem- 
ing coming  to  Christ,  to  have  the  grace  of  Christ  and  sin  loo, 
and  this  you  may  well  cast  off;  and  a  coming  for  his  grace  and 
Spirit  only,  and  you  despise  grace  and  distrust  the  Lord  if  you 
cast  off  this,  or  you  seek  to  put  the  Lord  out  of  his  working  by 
a  covenant  of  grace,  (where  he  takes  his  time  as  he  pleasi 
and  give  a  flat  he  to  all  promises  of  grace,  and  refuse  to  he  o 
tented  with  Christ's  grace,  that  thou  mighlst  have  the  i 
attributed  lo  thyself,  and  the  Lord  the  less. 


L     ^ 


THE   TEN   VIKGINS.  107 

5.  Either  they  think  not  of  the  exceeding  greatness  of  the 
Lord*s  love  and  free  grace  to  them ;  and  hence  Paul  bows  to 
Heaven  for  this.  £ph.  iii.  16,  17.  And  hence  it  comes  to  pass, 
that  look  as  it  is  with  sweet  things,  swallow  them  down  in  the 
lump,  you  never  taste  the  sweetness  to  purpose,  nor  never  com- 
mend them ;  so  it  is  when  men  swallow  down  God's  love  and 
chew  not  upon  it,  whereas  if  they  did  but  think  of  it,  O,  how 
sweet  would  it  be !  Fs.  Ixiii.  5,  6.  Lord,  how  many  days  and 
weeks  are  spent  thus !  It  is  apparent  you  have  the  profession 
of  a  Christian  life ;  but  do  you  taste  the  sweetness  of  a  Christian 
course  ?  No.  Why,  if  you  did  think,  you  would ;  but  you  are 
weary  at  night,  sleepy  in  the  morning,  busy  in  the  day,  dead  on 
the  Sabbath.  Hence  think  not,  hence  give  not  Grod  the  glory 
of  grace ;  or  if  they  do  think  of  it,  and  the  greatness  of  it,  thdn 
they  can  not  think  so  great  things  should  be  given  unto  them  or 
done  for  them ;  that  God  should  love  me  as  his  Son,  make  me 
an  heir  of  all  he  has  with  him,  redeem  me  that  have  despised 
his  blood.  It  is  too  good  news  to  be  true.  Hence  the  disciples 
believed  not  for  joy.  Luke  xxiv.  41.  Hence,  when  delivered 
out  of  Babel,  we  were  in  a  dream.  This  robs  the  Lord  of  grace ; 
for  the  greater  the  love  is,  and  the  more  you  take,  the  more  love 
shall  the  Lord  have ;  it  can  not  be  otherwise,  if  you  come  to  say 
thie;  is  mine. 

6.  Either  they  will  pore  only  on  their  sins  and  distempers 
and  miseries,  and  never  look  unto  Christ,  the  brazen  serpent,  and 
exarch  for  a  righteousness  of  their  own,  and  can  not  find  it,  and 
hence  pore  still.  As  when  men  have  wounds,  they  only  think 
on  them,  that  when  awakened  out  of  sleep,  they  complain  in  their 
beds,  like  the  Israelites  (Exod.  vi.  9)  that  would  not  hear  Moses 
because  of  anguish.  As  the  impotent  man  answered  Christ; 
John  V.  5-7,  "  Wilt  be  made  whole  ? "  he  turns  his  eyes  upon 
his  misery,  **  I  have  none  else  to  help  me  at  the  time  ; "  here 
L<  but  this  means,  and  when  I  come  myself,  others  step  in  before 
me,  etc.  Now,  so  do  men,  and  never  look  beyond  means,  the 
Lord  can,  the  Lord  will,  and  so  eye  not  him.  Or,  on  the  other 
liide,  if  they  get  healing  of  their  wounds,  then  they  eye  Christ 
only.  Eph.  ii.  6.  They  were  exalted  in  heavenly  places,  yet 
remember,  as  verses  11,  12.  For  let  any  Christian  see  he  is 
poor  and  miserable,  but  he  is  not  much  affected  with  it,  nor 
afflicted  with  it ;  and  so  eye  Christ,  and  trust  to  Christ,  and  ease 
himself  here,  and  say.  We  must  look  only  to  Christ,  either  you  will 
hear  of  his  fall,  (yea,  and  himself  shall  find  a  decay,)  or  he  will 
grow  very  proud,  unfit  to  give  all  to  Christ.     Is  there  grace  here? 

7.  Either  if  the  Lord  gives  him  any  thing  himself  and  mercy, 


b 


he  will  now  aild  eomctliuig  of  his  own  to  Chriat,  and  pull  the 
■veil  of  the  law  over  the  face  of  the  glory  of  Cbrisl,  (Gal-  L  0,) 
or  else  do  notliing  at  all  for  him,  unlesn  it  be  when  the  good  fit 
takes  him,  under  a  jirelenae  that  Christ  must  do  all,  as  here  the 
five  wise  virgins  that  fell  asleep  i  and  thua  jou  Bce  how  grace  k 
opposed  bj  the  children  of  grace.  Now,  therefore,  my  exhotlft- 
tion  ie,  to  take  heed  of  this,  and  be  ever  ready  to  attribute  all  to 
the  Lord,  as  they  cried  when  the  second  temple  was  building 
from  beginning  to  end,  (Zech.  iv.  C,  7  ;)  so  that  thou  WHst  spared 
BO  long,  that  called  by  means  tliat  the  Lord  should  by  faith  ac- 
cept, that  he  should  speak  peace  ;  this  is  grace,  that  tliough  Ttle, 
yet  he  will  save  me.  It  is  grace,  that  though  I  can  do  nolhiog, 
yet  he  will  help  me,  and  aflerwards  crown  me.  0,  tliia  is  won- 
derful grace  I    And,  — 

First.  Do  not  only  give  the  Lord  the  glory  of  grace  to  redeem 
you  from  misery ;  for  this  you  may  do,  and  be  full  ready  to  give 
il,yot  peiisb  at  luat,aa  the  Israelites  that  sang  God's  praises  did; 
but  that  he  will  save  thee  from  greater ;  i.  c,  from  sin.  And,  — 
SeeoniUy.  Not  only  wlien  you  feel  nothing,  but  when  you  feel 
most;  0,to  honor  grace  I     And, — 

7%iV>%.  Not  to  do  it  coldly,  but  with  a  heart  inflamed  with  n 
I  sense  of  il,  that  I  live,  I  have,  I  do,  I  am  what  I  am.  O,  it  is 
I  grace  !  So  that  now,  if  the  Lord  shall  come  and  ask  you.  What 
will  you  Bay,  if  I  will  deliver  you  from  all  misery,  subdue  all 
sins,  pass  by  all  wrong,  hear  all  prayers,  do  all  good  to  thee,  do 
mueh  good  by  Uiee,  love  thee  every  moment,  give  a  kingdom 
when  thy  work  is  done  to  thee,  and  myself,  better  than  all  ?  Say, 
Lord,  I  can  never  recompeuse  this ;  I  shall  be,  1  hope,  the  more 
vile  in  my  own  eyes  forever,  and  give  all  to  grace.  O,  sing  that 
Bong,  or  get  that  song  by  heart  now;  for  (Rev.  vii.  10}  there 
is  a  BODg,  "  Salvation  to  the  Lamb,"  which  none  else  could  sing. 
This  is  our  work,  and  a  great  work  indeed. 

Qttetl.  now  sliall  I  do  this? 
I  Am.  1.  Get  a  new  light  from  the  Lord  to  show  you  clearly 
Ithe  infinite,  endless,  unknown  evil  of  tlie  least  sui.  Paul  was  a 
proud  Pharisee  until  ho  saw  sin,  and  Jer.  iii.  24,  25.  For  if  eia 
be  seen,  one  smile,  one  day,  nay,  a  moment's  breathing  time  in 
this  world  will  be  matter  of  amazement  to  thee  after  all  thou 
haut  and  haat  done  ;  much  more  when  thou  seest  so  many  sins, 
and  that  in  every  thing.  Entreat  the  Loni  to  do  this.  We 
walk  up  and  down  the  world,  and  say  wo  sin  and  grieve  the 
Lord ;  but,  0,  it  is  not  known  1  hajipy  art  thou  if  the  Lord  has 
discovered  it;  then  thou  wilt  say.  Why  doth  the  Lord  do  any 
thing  for  me  ?     Could  not  he  pick  out  stones,  nay,  toads,  that 


THE   TEN    VIRGINS.  109 

never  sinned  against  him,  rather  than  me  to  enjoy  him  ?  Especial- 
ly is  sin  vile  in  thee,  so  near  God,  and  so  near  heaven  too. 
Angels  were  hurled  down  for  one  sin. 

2.  Set  a  high  price  upon  a  little  grace ;  a  man  will  be  exceed- 
ing humbly  thankful  for  the  giving  a  little  of  that  which  he  high- 
ly esteems,  much  more  for  giving  much  of  what  we  value.  The 
poor  woman  of  Canaan  (Matt,  xv.)  was  glad  of  crums.  How 
thankful  do  you  think  she  was  for  loaves  ?  That  made  her 
ready  to  receive  all ;  ^^  Be  it  as  thou  wilt ;  *'  so  it  shall  be  with 
you ;  for  if  you  prize  a  little,  O,  when  all  shall  be  given,  this 
will  swaUow  you  up  into  grace.  And  it  is  certain,  there  is  never 
a  mercy  but  it  is  great,  if  you  consider  him  that  gives  it,  who 
receives  it,  him  that  bought  it.  But  the  most  of  Grod's  grace  in 
us  appears  to  be  but  small ;  hence  we  prize  it  not,  and  hence 
never  ready  to  give  all  to  the  Lord  again. 

3.  Learn  to  put  a  difference  between  your  double  being ;  for 
every  Christian  has  a  double  being :  1.  In  himself;  2.  He  has  a 
subsistence  in  Christ  Now,  look  upon  yourselves  as  in  your- 
iK'lves,  you  will  ever  complain  there,  ever  dead,  and  neyer  have 
your  hearts  ready  to  bless  the  Lord.  If  you  only  look  on  your- 
tsf'lves  in  Christ,  you  will  be  proud,  and  never  give  the  Lord 
honor.  I  say,  therefore,  put  a  difference  between  these  two  ;  for 
men  appropriating  to  themselves  what  is  Christ's,  they  rob  Christ 
of  his  glory.  Hence  Paul  so  humble.  1  Cor.  xv.  10,  IL  j  For 
if  you  look  upon  yourself,  I  am  dead,  guilty,  damned,  weak,  heni 
will  be  shame  ;  if  any  life,  or  grace,  this  is  Christ's.  As  a  man 
on  a  mount  is  the  same  man,  no  taller,  only  the  mountain  makes ; 
him  so  ;  so  think  of  thyself.  Or  as  a  mud  wall,  the  sun  shines 
on  it,  but  in  itself  it  is  a  mud  wall  still ;  all  the  warmth  is  from 
the  sun. 

4.  Learn  to  love  grace  ;  what  we  love  we  will  seek  the  good 
of  more  than  our  own,  and  commend  it. 

First.  It  is  the  only  first  mover  of  all  our  good  :  thou  shouldst 
nf'ver  have  had  a  drachm  of  peace  or  mercy.  Why  hast  it? 
The  Lord  will  have  it  so,  grace  pleads  it  may  be  so ;  this  is  the 
only  petitioner  at  court  against  the  cry  of  sin,  against  the  cry  of 
justice. 

Secondly,  It  is  the  only  support  under  the  heaviest  evils/  some- 
times God  frowns,  and  hell  smokes,  and  Satan  tempts,  and  sin 
rageth,  and  it  may  be  no  feeling  of  grace,  no  retison  to  show 
thf  re  shall  ever  be  any  ;  now,  what  have  you  done  ?  AVhat  will 
you  do?  Fly  for  refuge  to  the  promise  of  grace.  Hel).  vi.  18. 
It  is  such  a  friend  as  holds  up  the  head  when  sinking,  when  dy-^ 
ing  holds  that,  when  all  fails,  and  against  which  the  gates  of  hell 
VOL.  11.  10 


I 

I 
I 


110  THE   PARABLE   OP 

can  not  prevail.  To  him  that  laya  bold  on  grace,  this  is  wwi- 
derfuL  Faui  was  a  man  taken  with  grace ;  lience  he  every 
where  comiuends  it.  "  I  was  received  to  mercy,"  elc.  I  Tim.  i. 
IS,  U. 

5.  See  how  the  Lord  loves  that  thou  shouldst  honor  it,  for  the 
greatest  honor  grace  has  is  by  fuitli ;  licntx  they  are  put  for  one, 
(Bom.  iv.  10,)  and  the  great  cause  why  failh  stirs  not,  is  be- 
cause he  sees  not  how  the  Lord  shall  Lare  by  it  the  praise  of 
his  rich  grace,  nor  how  the  Lord  loves  it  should  do  so.  For  if  a 
man  did  see  how  by  faith  h«  shall  honor  grace,  and  how  the  Lord 
is  pleased  with  it,  it  would  draw  the  heart  U>  be  assured,  and 
to  bless  grace;  for  when  the  soul  feels  itself  at  worst,  why 
doth  it  not  believe?  I  shall  presume.  True,  if  you  have  ihi 
only  in  your  eye,  to  save  yourself;  hut  if  the  Spirit  presents 
the  glory  of  grace,  and  this  draws  your  will  that  you  will  gloriiy 
grace,  then  you  wiU  say  it  is  no  presumption  so  to  do.  and  so  to 
believe ;  for  the  Lord  loves  his  grace,  and  all  means  for  the 
glory  of  grace.  Hence  he  will  use  faith  for  that  end,  to  lionot 
?S  grace.  O,  therefore,  see  how  the  Lord  loves  to  have  ihee  honor 
it  I  This  gives  God's  heart  full  rest ;  tliis  is  that  which  he  de- 
sires most,  because  it  is  his  end.  This  is  that  which  all  the  bnei- 
neas  of  the  world  is  for.  0.  see  how  be  loves  it !  and  then  you 
will  love  to  act  thus.  Now,  set  upon  this  last  work ;  look  over 
all  your  life,  and  like  bees  gather  honey  from  every  flower,  and 
then  come  loadcn  home  ;  so  do  you.  and  look  over  all  the  Lord's 
love,  turu  over  all  the  leaves  of  It.  The  Lord  has  called  tat:. 
Why  ?  It  is  because  Christ  has  redeemed.  And  why  that  ? 
Because  the  Father  has  chosen.  And  why  me?  To  glgrify 
his  grace.  And  why  me  ratber  than  anotlier '/  No  reason.  biU 
*■  he  would.  This  I  doubt  not  will  be  the  work  of  tIcaven,~T  am  , 
glorified  because  called,  because  redeemed,  because  elected,  for  g 
none  other  reason  why,  and  here  astonished.  You  have  na|,l 
I  Christian  hearts  in  you,  that  will  now  have  no  care  to  do  tUB" 
1  work  there  before  you  are  turned  off  ihe  stage.  You,  poor 
doubting  spirits,  tliat  see  so  much  vileness,  and  can  not  bo  per- 
suaded, be  not  discouraged.  Wait  for  the  Lord,  and  say.  If  he 
shall  save,  I  shall  forever  love  him  the  more.  Now,  hold  here, 
and  be  ready  to  do  so,  and  it  is  certain  thou  art  a  vessel  of  glory, 
ready  to  sing  the  song  of  the  Lamb,  and  shalt  follow  him  whrav 
ever  he  goes. 


J 


( 


THE   TEX    VmGINS.  Ill 


CHAPTER    X. 

COKCERKIKG  THE  SOUL'S  IMMEDIATE  CLOSING  WITH  THE  PEBSON 
OF  CHSIST,  AS  THE  PKOPEB  OBJECT  OF  SAYING  FAITH. 

Section  I. 

8.  "  Went  forth  to  meet  the  Bridegroom^ 

Here  needs  the  explication  of  three  things :  — 

I.  Who  is  the  bridegroom? 

Am,  The  conclusion  of  this  parable  is  the  explication  of  this, 
m^  the  Son  of  man,  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  who,  according  to 
the  several  conditions  or  dispositions  the  church  is  in,  appears  to 
his  church  under  several  relations  and  titles.  The  church  is 
oppressed  by  her  enemies  ;  he  appears  now  to  her  as  her  prince 
and  king.  The  church  wants  wisdom,  light,  and  life  ;  he  appears 
now  unto  her  as  a  head.  The  church  has  been  seeking  of  his 
love,  and  jrielding  herself  to  the  obedience  of  him  as  her  Lord ; 
at  last  he  appears  more  fullj  to  her  as  a  husband,  or  as  a  bride- 
groom with  whom  she  is  to  have  her  nearest  and  everlasting  fel- 
lowship and  communion,  and  so  here.  And  when  Christ  comes 
to  show  most  special  love,  and  to  have  most  special  fellowship 
with  his  people,  he  thus  styles  himself.  Is.  liv.  5,  6.  So  John 
ill.  29.  Andy  when  the  church  has  tasted  that  love,  she  calls 
him  so. 

IL  What  is  it  to  meet  the  bridegroom  ? 

Ans,  To  enjoy  fellowship  and  familiarity  with  him. 

IIL  What  is  it  (to  go  forth)  to  meet  the  bridegroom  ? 

Aiu,  There  are  but  three  ways  of  going  forth  to  meet  with 
Christ  in  Scripture. 

1.  When  soul  and  body,  at  the  last  day,  meet  the  Lord  in  the 
clouds  of  the  air.  1  Thess.  iv.  17.  Thus  the  whole  church,  the 
bride,  shall  appear  in  glory  to  meet  the  bridegroom. 

2.  When  the  soul  only  goes  out  of  the  body  by  the  ministry 
of  angels,  to  meet  the  Lord  in  heaven,  as  Paul,  that  knew  not 
whether  in  or  out  of  the  body.  2  Cor.  xii.  3.  "We  know  it 
here  shall  go  out  of  the  body."  As  Christ  is  said  when  he  went 
to  heaven,  "  I  go  to  my  Father,  and  your  Father."  So  it  goes 
forth  then  to  Christ,  (Eccles.  xii.  7,)  and  neither  of  these  can 
be  meant  here  ;  for,  — 

Firtt,  This  shows  the  state  of  the  Jewish  church  long  before 
Christ's  coming,  at  least  among,  many  of  them. 

Secondly.  Because  the  shutting  out  (verse  10)  is  by  and  at 
death ;  hence  letting  in  is  so  too.     Now  this  was  before. 


I 


lis  TDE   PARABLE    OF 

^.  "WTien  tlie  soul  goes  out  of  ilself  by  faith.     Hence  (Joi 

vi.  35)  it  is  called  coniing  to  Christ ;  aud  tLis  not  any  physioi 

natural  depiirting  of  l!ie  soul  out  of  the  body,  but  ethical,  auyas 
jnatBraliJilJhe  operations  of  the  soul  out  of  itseU!^  And  look, 
as  the  whole  sonl  by  unbelief  departs  from  God  in  Cliriijt,  so  the 
whole  soul  by  faith  comes  again  to  God  b}'  Cliriet.  The  mind 
ieea,  alfecli<ma  make  after  him,  will  fastens  on  him,  and  there 
depends.  This  is  the  first  work  of  faith,  or  the  first  faith,  the 
coming  (as  in  all  motions  there  are  two  extremes)  of  the  soul 
frcm  a  nothingness,  emptiness  in  itself,  to  an  allness  and  fullness 
in  Christ.  And  as  it  is  in  other  motions,  if  there  was  a  vaeiivm, 
there  would  be  moliit  in  inttanti ;  so  if  there  was  an  emptiness 
seen  in  the  world,  and  all  the  works  of  it,  and  in  all  fears  that 
all  mountains  were  cast  down,  failh  then  would  suddenly  come 
by  the  Spirit  to  the  Lord  Jesus,  aud  this  coming  to  Christ  is  not 
meant  here.  For, — 
1        First.  Tlieae  virgins  were  espoused  to  Christ  by  faith  already. 

Seeond/f/.  At  the  first  coming  to  Christ  it  goes  to  the  Lord  for 
life  in  him,  and  from  Uim;  but  here,  having  life  already,  they  go 
forlli  to  live  with  him.  There  the  soul  goes  out  to  meet  liim  in 
the  gospel,  in  the  promise ;  here  the  virgins  go  forth  to  meet 
him  in  glory.  There  the  soul  goes  to  be  justified  by  him  ;  here 
the  virgins  go  to  be  glorified  with  him ;  and  therefore  it  is  meant 
of  a  second  going  out  of  the  soul  by  some  E)>ecial  acts  of  faith, 
after  that  it  does  believe,  and  after  it  is  ready  for  him.  j  And  for 
I      explication, — 

QufM.  1 .  From  whence  doth  the  soul  go  ? 

Ans.  It  is  cliiefly  going  out  of  this  world  by  trampling  lliis 
moon  under  her  feet,  by  forgetting  this  her  fallier's  house,  by  a 
holy  contempt  of  it,  and  a  holy  d^-ing  to  it.  and  all  the  glory  of 
it>r  For  it  is  a  thousand  to  one  if  Salan  does  not  entangle  here ; 
if  Xot  bo  not  taken  with  Sodom,  though  burnt  out  there.  And 
if  this  going  out  is  to  ei^oy  the  Lord  in  another  world  chiefly, 
then  going  out  is  from  the  opposite  term,  from  this  world. 
Hence  Paul  singles  out  this  mercy.  Gal.  i.  4.  Christ  gave  him- 
aelf  to  deliver  us  from  this  present  evil  world.  O,  say  men,  it 
is  a  good  world,  and  good  being  here.  It  is  an  evil  world.  It 
is  so  when  death  comes,  but  for  present  it  is  besL  No,  it  is  i^i 
"  present  evil  world."  "^ 

Qiceat.  2.  By  what  acts  of  faith  dolh  it  go  forth  ? 

Ans.  There  be  two  aflcctions  of  the  soul  tliat  chicfiy  look  to^ 
good  absent,  yet  loving  that  good,  go  forth  to  meet  it ;  those  w 
hope  and  desire  :  like  the  blind  man  and  llic  lame,  lioth  togeth 
can  make  a  shift  to  go.     Hopi',  like  the  eye,  gi>e8  out  and  k 


\ 


THE   TEN   YIBGINS.  118 

desire,  like  the  feet,  runs  out  and  longs.  The  going  forth  there- 
fore to  meet  Christ  is,  1.  By  a  real  expectation  of  him ;  2.  By 
t longing  desire  to  be  with  him.  Hope  goes  on  the  top  of  the! 
world,  and  cries,  O,  I  see  him  ;  desire  stands  bj,  and  longs  for 
him ;  O,  come,  Lord.  A  careless,  blind  world  looks  not  for  him, 
tlie  bride  doth.  Rev.  xxii.  17,  20,  ^^O,  come.  Lord  Jesus,  come 
qoicklj : "  by  love  and  joy  we  embrace  and  entertain  the  bride- 
groom ;  by  hope  and  desire  we  go  forth  to  meet  the  bridegroom. 
Hence  many  diings  are  to  be  observed,  and  yet  not  all  I  might. 

Section  n. 

Doei.  L  That  the  object  to  which  4aith  chiefly  looks,  and 
closeth  with,  is  the  person  of  the  Loi:d><  Jesus. 

It  is  the  bridegroom  himself  tGat  the  virgins  chiefly  have  to 
do  withal ;  they  are  espoused  to  him  as  in  marriage ;  there  is  a 
giving  of  themselves  one  unto  another ;  they  make  themselves 
ready  for  him,  they  go  out  to  meet  him.  It  is  him  they  love,  it 
is  him  they  want,  it  is  him  they  look  for,  it  is  him  they  close 
withal.  Whorish  lovers  look  not  after  him,  but  his  ;  his  peace 
to  comfort  them  when  in  horror  and  fear,  his  mercy  to  save  them 
from  eternal  flames  ;  but  virgins  look  to  him ;  they  look  to  (His) 
indeed,  but  it  is  himself  chiefly  they  care  for.  John  i.  12,  To 
**  so  many  as  received  him  he  gave  power  to  be  sons.*'  John 
vi.  27,  When  the  people  followed  him,  but  it  was  for  loaves ; 
*'  Labor  not  for  bread  that  perisheth,  but,"  etc. ;  "  for  him  hath 
the  Father  sealed."  Matt  xiii^  44,  The  man  did  not  buy  the 
treasure,  but  bought  the  field.  It  is  him  faith  seeks  for.  Jer. 
1.  4,  *'They  shall  seek  the  Lord  weeping."  It  is  him  faith 
chooses,  and  is  contented  with.  "  Whom  have  I  in  heaven  but 
thee  ?  "  Ps.  Ixxiii.  25.  It  is  him  faith  glories  in.  Is.  xlv.  25, 
^  In  him  shall  all  the  seed  of  Israel  glory." 

Section  IIL 

Reason  1.  It  is  chiefly  and  firstly  the  person  of  Christ  that 
the  Father  gives  unto  the  soul.  Is.  ix.  6.  Hence  faith  lays  hold 
on  him.  It  is  not  seemly  to  keep  a  portion  from  any>  much  less 
orphans'  portion.  Faith  empties  a  man  so  as  it  makes  him  the 
poorest  orphan  in  the  world ;  now  the  father  can  not,  will  not 
keep  back  his  portion,  but  gives  it  him.  Wicked  men  have  their 
portion  in  this  world,  (Ps.  xvii.  14;)  and  they  think  the  Lord 
loves  them  because  he  blesses  them.  They  have  many  moral 
excellences  g^ven  them,  which  makes  them  honored  and  lovely 

10* 


114  THE    PAKAni.E   OF 

in  Ihe  eyes  of  men.  and  thcj  fmve  bonor.  anil  ihat  i 
wsrd ;  tliey  liJiTc  bread,  but  not  (he~sIaB'  of  bread  j  tLej  htn 
ordinances,  but  not  the  Lord  in  ibem.  Tli<>  Lord  gives  ih«i 
snswer  to  many  prnyers,  but  never  gives  ihem  hiiuself,  nor  bis 
Son  ;  this  is  higtiest  love.  But  it  ia  bis  Son  himself  he  gives  to 
orphan,  fatlierlesa,  helpless  crealureB  ;  for  Ihe  Lord  is  ibcir  por- 
tion. Lam.  ill.  24.  Tbe  ■*  portion  of  Jueub."  Jer.  x.  16.  Hence 
it  b  him  that  faith  receives,  and  pitches  upon  ;  go  tlutt  Ibe  Lord 
may  denjr  them  many  outward,  many  inward  blessings ;  yet  they 
have  himself  that  is  better  than  all ;  )>ctter,  as  he  said,  than 
J  "  ten  SODS."  Children  may  be  prodigals  for  u  lime,  bul  when 
I  in  want  they  will  then  sue  for  their  portion.  Sainte,  for  a  time, 
I  may  misspend  all  times,  talents,  urdluanc'es  the  Lord  gives ;  bnt 
f  the  Lord  will  bring  them  to  want,  and  then  they  will  sue  for 
[  their  portion,  and  Ihe  Lord  will  give,  and  they  will  receive  thai. 
Jtetuon  2.  Because  there  is  no  satisfying  of  the  Father  with- 
out him :  bring  Bcnjainin  with  you,  or  never  look  to  see  my 
face.  The  conscience  of  a  man  can  never  be  pacified  until  God 
is  satisfied  for  all  wrongs.  Now,  the  Lord  Jesus  has  satiEfied; 
nay,  perfected  forever  them  that  are  sanctified,  "  by  once  offer- 
ing up  of  hinoself  to  God."  Heb.  x.  )4.  Now,  the  soal  nevu 
colnes  to  have  settled  peace  in  bis  own  conscience  (though  peaat 
was  purchased  before)  but  by  offering  up  of  the  Lord  Jesus  by 
feith,  even  Christ  hirai^lf.  The  soul  wants  him,  the  Father 
shows  a  ram  in  the  bush,  gives  Christ ;  and  that  the  eoul  gives 
him  for  satisfaction,  and  offers  him  to  God  agiun.  As  the  priests 
in  the  old  law,  when  tbo  sacrifice  was  slain,  then  it  was  ofTered. 
God  offers  the  soul  a  crucified  Son,  faith  takes  hira  and  offers 
him,  "  Ijord,  behold  thy  Son."  Rom.  iii.  2ii.  And  licuce  comes 
propitiation  and  peace,  peace  to  see  that  God  is  satisfied.  Now, 
if  by  faith  we  come  to  have  tlie  peace  of  the  Father's  satisftto* 
lion  with  us,  then  it  must  needs  pitch  upon  the  person  of  the 
Son  first.  Hence  many  never  have  peace,  because  it  is  not  a 
Son  himself  they  look  for,  but  somewhat  from  him.  They  a 
blind,  and  dead,  and  bard,  and  these  things  they  would  bavf 
helped,  but  close  not  with  Christ  himself. 

Reaton  3.  Because  the  soul  can  neither  actually  receive  n 
eipect  to  receive  any  thing  from  Christ,  unless  it  has  first  pitched  * 
npon  the  person  of  Christ.  A  man  may  hope  he  shiill,  and  pre- 
sume and  think  he  shall,  and  it  may  be,  receive  somewhat  oat 
of  the  common  courtesy  Christ  shows  to  them  that  look  toward 
him,  bnt  never  shall  receive  wiy  saving  good  thing  till  tiow.  JoIiB  'fl 

ii  53,  "  Unless  ye  eat  the  flesh  of  the  Son  of  God,  and  dri 
his  blood,  ye  have  no  life."     Look,  as  it  ia  in  our  eating,  u  if  fl 


e  nor^ 


THE  TEN   YIRGINS.  115 

man  should  seek  to  get  nourishment  out  of  meat  or  drink,  not 
bj  feeding  on  itself ;  so  it  is  here.  Some  said  this  was  a  hard 
8ajiDg,  and  so  it  is  to  a  carnal  heart.  Rom.  viii.  32.  And  hence 
observey  when  the  Lord  promises  any  great  thing  to  his  people, 
(Is.  TiL  14,)  he  ever  brings  in  the  Lord  Jesus,  that  if  he  shall 
be  given,  then  all  things  also. 

Reaton  4.  Because  true  faith  ever  closes  with  Christ  by  love 
to  Christ,  as  false  faith  closes  with  him  out  of  self-love.  Cant.  i. 
2,  3,  "  The  virgins  love  thee."  That  is  love,  indeed,  which  is 
set  upon  the  person.  The  Lord  never  puts  his  pearl  nor  sets  it 
in  a  swinish  faith  that  contemns  the  Son.  No ;  it  is  a  precious 
iiuth  that  loves  the  Lord.  Hence  it  carries  the  soul  to  the 
beloved. 

Section  IV. 

Ute  1.  Hence  see  the  reason  why  the  Lord  keeps  his  people 
hungry  and  empty,  and  cuts  them  short  of  many  spiritual  bless- 
ings. It  is  that  they  might  close  with  and  be  contented  with 
the  person  of  the  Son.  There  are  three  things  some  of  Grod's 
people  seek  for,  and  find  not,  if  the  Lord  mtends  good  to  them. 

1.  They  desire  the  comforts,  and  conveniences,  and  peace  of 
thb  world.  *  O,  rest  is  sweet !  and  the  Lord  will  give  them  none 
of  these,  or  keep  them  at  short  commons  with  these.  And 
why  ?  That  they  might  lay  up  their  peace  and  find  all  in  him- 
self. Gren.  XV.  1,  2.  Abraham,  after  the  slaughter  of  the  kings, 
was  in  fear  that  he  might  make  the  Lord  his  shield.  Hos.  ii.  6, 
7,  ^  She  shall  seek  her  lovers,  but  shall  not  overtake  them." 

2.  They  seek  for  some  good  to  themselves,  in  themselves,  from 
themselves.  I  would  fain  believe,  and  can  not ;  I  would  fain  do, 
says  a  man ;  but,  alas  !  he  grows  worse  and  worse.  The  com- 
mandment comes,  you  will  do ;  there  is  your  task,  do  it ;  yet 
they  languish  and  die,  and  why  so?  Jer.  iii.  22.  That  they 
might  look  for  help  and  righteousness  in  another,  ^^  In  the  Lord 
our  God  is  the  salvation  of  Israel,"  not  from  the  mountains  the 
strongest  helps  and  means ;  in  the  Lord  it  is  alone. 

3.  They  seek  for  grace,  and  strength,  and  peace  from  the  Lord 
Jesus  very  importunately,  and  many  times  very  impatiently,  and 
so  sinfully,  too,  and  the  Lord  denies  them.  It  has  been  better 
with  them  than  now,  therefore  they  wonder  the  Lord  should  be 
so  full  and  they  so  empty,  and  think  sometimes  to  seek  no  more, 
and  the  Lord  denies  a  dole  at  this  door  too,  that  they  might  con- 
tent themselves,  and  lay  up  their  joys  in  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 
2  Cor.  xii.  9,  *'  My  grace  is  sufficient."  It  is  strange  that 
Christ,  0O  able,  so  ready  to  help,  yet  denies.     I  confess  it  is 


I 


eotnelime  some  lust  and  Bliimbling-block  the  Lord  Jesuasees; 
O,  Imt  against  thai  thej  seek ;  and  truly  here  is  the  catise,  that 
Laving  DO  good  from  him,  they  might  place  all  tlieir  faappineH 
and  felicity  in  him.  Look,  as  it  was  with  Jaeob,  a  great  foffline 
comes,  and  all  the  sacks  ar«  spent,  and  they  are  used  roughly, 
though  not  hardly  nor  n-roDgfully.  and  all  waa  lo  bring  them  to 
the  sight  and  embracings  of  Joseph  ;  all  the  time  of  famine  waa 
for  this.  So  the  famine  of  Bpirit  is  to  last  long,  and  the  Lord 
denies  supply,  !□  bring  ihe  son]  to  see,  embrace,  and  rejoic-e  in 

. ,  the  Lord  Jesus.  The  most  flourishing  trees  in  God's  house  shall 
have  their  winter  season,  and  cast  their  coat,  that  they  might 
preserve  themselves  in  their  root.  This  is  the  great  wonnd  of 
many  a  believing  soul  for  a  lime,  lo  rest  more  contented  with 
what  he  receives  from  the  Lord,  ihan  to  quiet  himself  and  hii 
heart  with  what  is  in  the  Lord.  Man  would  have  lost  his  h^ 
pincss  in  his  own  hand,  and  this  the  Lord  will  not  suffer  lus 
people  to  lie  iu  long,  (Gen.  xxvi.  i  ;)  and  the  best  and  surest 
course  that  can  be  taken  is  to  cut  them  short  of  all.  For  faith 
is  au  unconquerable  grace,  tliat  whatever  it  loses  out  of  its  ovn 
hand,  it  will  find  it  and  enjoy  it  in  another.  And,  therefore,  see 
God's  end,  and  meet  the  Lord  in  this  end  of  bis.  See  all  in  the 
Lonl,  and  see  in  your  blessedness  therein  all  your  vantii,  lay  it 
up  there,  that  if  you  will  boast,  here  you  may  do  it  all  the  day 

.  long.  For  this  is  God's  greatest  plot,  lo  pull  all  men  down,  that 
his  8on  may  be  set  up ;  lo  wither  all  the  grass  and  beauty  of  all 
the  flowers  of  the  field,  thai  the  glory  of  the  Lord  might  be  re- 

j  vealed.  J  I  mast  here  give  you  a  taste,  for  it  does  me  good  to 
think,  and  it  will  do  you  more  good  to  enjoy  the  sweetnew  of 
this  truth.  There  are  four  things  you  desire,  all  which  are 
chiefly  laid  up  in  Christ,  lo  that  end  that  you  might,  in  all  wanta, 
quiet  your  hearts  with  unspeakable  peace  there. 

1.  The  free  grace  and  love  of  the  Father:  this  is  that,  I 
hope,  which  you  prize  most,  pray  for  most,  fear  the  loss  of  moat, 
would  rejoice  in  the  having  of  most,  without  which  thy  life  is 
death,  and  blessings  cursings,  and  death  the  beginning  of  helL 
Would  you  see  this  love  better  than  life  to  thee  ?  0,  I  can  not 
see  it,  or  but  very  little  of  iU  It  is  true,  look  upon  yourselves, 
you  can  see  but  little ;  many  fears,  many  tears,  many  he.art- 
Borrows,  many  temptations,  many  desertions,  many  vexing  eaos, 
many  denials  to  your  prayers  ;  but  O,  look  up  to  that  ointment 
which  is  poured  upon  thb  blessed  head,  that  love  is  shed  abun- 
danily  upon  the  Son  from  before  alt  worlds,  and  look  wliat  love, 
what  grace  the  Father  shows  to  him  ;  that  love  is  thine,  ihat  lo*e 
ill  him  is  shown  to  thee.  2  Tim.  i.  'J,  10.     Here,  stand  amazed, 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  117 

all  ye  people  of  the  Lord !  you  have  heard  the  Lord  loves  you, 
and  sometime  believe  it ;  but  being  under  water,  can  not  conceive 
of  it,  nor  see  how  he  loves  you,  how  dearly,  how  abundantly  I 
O,  look  now  upon  the  love  of  God  the  Father  in  the  Son ;  as 
he  loves  him,  so  he  loves  thee,  a  worm,  a  devil,  notwithstandiri 
all  thy  want,  aU  thy  sins,  all  thy  miseries.  John  xvii.  23,  26. 

2.  Life.  O,  death  is  terrible,  and  a  dead  heart  is  woful ;  it  is 
the  great  plague  that  lies  upon  men  without  Christ,  that  are 
strangera  to  the  life  of  Grod.  £ph.  iv.  18.  Is  thy  heart  ever  so 
joyed  as  when  it  is  most  enlarged  for  Grod,  and  hath  most  delight 
and  liberty  in  the  ways  of  Grod  ?  Alas  I  thy  life  is  but  a  linger- 
ing 8i<^ess,  a  poor  life  to  that  which  thou  hast  in  Christ !  O, 
look  up  there.  Col.  iii.  3.  You  think,  when  your  hearts  are 
affected,  and  warmed,  and  quickened  in  prayer,  by  word,  or  divine 
thoughts,  etc,  O,  if  it  might  be  ever  so ;  how  happy  !  O,  but 
it  dies  presently,  and  thou  knowest  not  how.  Look  up  to  the 
Lord  Jesus ;  he  is  alive  when  thou  art  dead,  and  his  life  is  thine, 
and  it  is  ever  thine  in  him,  even  eternal  life.  1  John  v.  10-12, 
**  This  is  the  record,  that  he  hath  given  us  eternal  life."  Alas  ! 
I  find  none.  O,  it  is  in  his  Son,  in  whom  thou  livest  a  better 
life,  than  men,  than  kings,  than  angels.  And  I  doubt  not  but  the 
Lord  suffers  temptations  to  rob  you  of  your  life,  that  you  might 
find  it  when  it  is  lost,  here,  and  rejoice  that  when  you  have  none, 
yet  here  it  is.  Blessed  be  God,  he  will  keep  our  lives  as  the 
life  of  Jacob  was  knit  up,  and  bound  up,  in  the  life  of  the  child ; 
nay,  that  life  is  ours. 

3.  Conquest  and  victory  over  all  enemies.  It  may  be  you 
say  oflen,  the  Lord  hath  commanded  mc  to  seek  for  help ;  and  he 
will  help,  he  hath  promised  so  to  do  ;  but  I  find  my  distempers 
^till  raging,  Satan  still  buffeting  and  winnowing,  and  vexing  and 
foiling,  and  as  I  feel  many,  so  I  fear  more  sorrows  before  I  die, 
and  then  death  and  delusion,  that  at  last  I  may  be  deceived. 
Nay,  the  agonies  of  hell  many  times  assault  me,  and  then  I  am 
pat  to  a  loss,  that  is  it  possible  I  should  escape  ?  Why,  beloved, 
the  Lord  Jesus  conquered  death,  and  sin,  and  hell,  and  the  grave, 
and  Satan,  with  all  the  strength  of  darkness  and  delusion,  and 
hath  spoiled  them.  Col.  ii.  14,  15.  And  now  he  is  in  heaven  in 
his  kingdom,  triumphing  over  them,  that  they  can  not  hurt  him. 
Ay  ;  but  what  is  that  to  me  ?  Why,  this  very  victory  is  thine. 
Hence  we  are  said  to  be  dead  with  him,  (Rom.  vi.  8,)  and  risen 
with  him,  (Col.  iii.  1  ;)  nay,  to  sit  in  "  heavenly  places,"  as  it 
were  triumphing  in  him,  in  glory  with  him,  (Eph.  ii.  G ;)  nay, 
(Heb.  X.  14,)  "  He  hath  by  one  offering  perfected  his  people  for- 
ever that  are  sanctified."    It  is  true  you  may  rejoice  in  that  you 


118  THE   1-ARABI.E   OF 

Hhall  conquer ;     but  O,  remember  this,  it  is  done  already  in  thy 
hetid  and  in  tlij  liusband. 

4.  Immuijibilily  iind  cerlointy  of  standing  in  a  happy  estate ; 
for  this  is  that  which  sads  the  heart,  I  shall  fall  at  lost.  Ho~« 
is  it  possible  but  I  should  be  bo  ?  No,  beloved,  look  upon  the 
Lord  Jesua,  in  him  thou  art ;  if  he  can  fall,  if  he  can  die,  if  he 
can  be  cast  from  the  Father's  face,  then  thou  majfat.  Believe 
"  that  I  live,  you  shall  live  also."  John  xiv.  19.  Adam,  indeed, 
was  chosen  to  be  hea<l  of  mankind,  and  as  when  he  stood  per- 
fect^ wc  stood  ;  so  (though  mulably)  he  falling,  we  fall.  So  we 
are  chosen  in  Christ,  and  as  he  stands  unchangeably,  bo  we  stand ; 
and  as  he  was  tempted  every  way,  yet  did  not,  could  not  fall,  no 
more  canst  thou.  So  that,  O  that  the  Lord  would  give  yon 
hearts  to  learn  this  lesson,  when  there  is  nothing  but  want  in 
thee.  Do  not  shift  so  much  for  a  little  from  the  Lord,  bnt  see 
God's  end  and  reach  it.  O,  rejoice,  glory  in,  and  bless  the  Lord. 
This  was  Paul's  life,  and  the  life  of  the  churches  first  planted. 
O,  bless  the  Lord  for  all  spiritual  blessings  in  Christ  1  This  will 
be  joy  in  sorrow,  life  in  death ;  this  ia  golden  faith,  this  will 
answer  all  fears.  When  Satan  saitb,  Thou  hast  not  this  or  that, 
nor  canst  not  do  this  nor  that,  and  to  hell,  therefore,  thou  must 
go;  reply  again.  It  ia  true,  I  have  little,  I  am  dead,  but  Christ 
lives  forever ;  I  may  fall  in  myself,  I  never  can  fall  in  him  ;  that 
which  he  hath  is  mine. 

Object.  It  is  true  they  may  do  this  that  know  the  Lord  Jesus 
is  theirs,  but,  alas  1  1  know  not  that. 

Am.  If  you  do  not,  you  must  wait  then  until  llie  Lord  make 
himself  known  unto  you ;  but  tell  me,  will  you  do  this,  if  you 
did  thus  know  it  ?  It  may  be  some  of  you  have  not  done  so, 
unless  by  force  sometimes,  and  you  will  find  it  one  of  the  tough-' 
est  works  of  faith  that  is.  What  is  a  poor  man  better  for 
other's  wealth,  and  a  sick  man  for  another's  health,  and  a  na 
man  when  others  are  clothed?  Yet, ' beloved,  by  virtue  of  tbtfl 
power  of  faith,  and  our  union  to  the  Lord  Jesus,  a  mai 
better.  A  woman  that  is  matched  to  a  prince  may  have 
penny  in  her  purse,  and  yet  she  rejoiceth  in  that  her  liusbanAj 
[hath  it, I  It  is  the  secret  nature  of  faith  to  make  a  man  all  one' 
with  Cbristt  in  Christ,  in  that  manner  that  I  can  not  find  such 
a  union  in  the  world ;  and  hence  his  health,  his  clothes,  his 
grace,  his  life,  may  be  matter  of  us  much  joy  as  if  a  man  had 
all  this  in  himself.  And  because  many  a  soul  halh  Christ,  but 
feeling  such  emptiness  in  himself  as  that  he  can  not  think  so,  awl' 
il  may  be  would  do  so  if  he  saw  whether  he  might  do 
I  shall  therefore  cKpresa  my  thoughts  to  them  thus,  in  these 
ticulare : — 


i 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  119 

1.  That  aU  that  fiiUness  that  is  in  the  Lord  Jesus,  it  is  not  for 
himself,  but  for  them  that  want  it.  John  xvii.  19.  lie  might 
have  been  blessed  in  his  Father's  bosom  without  thee.  Why 
)»hould  he  therefore  live,  and  do,  and  suffer,  and  rise,  and  glorify 
his  blessed  nature,  but  for  them  that  wanted  this  ?  He  is  filled 
with  wisdom,  life,  strength,  because  men  are  blind,  dead,  weak. 

2.  But  you  will  say  all  the  world  want  it,  and  yet  few  in  the 
world  shall  ever  have  any  share  there ;  therefore  all  them  in  the 
world  that  hunger  after  all  that  good  that  is  in  him,  they  may ' 
now,  in  the  absence  of  it,  content  themselves  with  it,  that  there 
it  is  in  him  for  them ;  for  the  Lord  fills  the  hungry,  and  so  hun- 
gry as  it  is  not  something  or  other  that  they  pick  out,  but  all 
Christ,  and  all  of  that  that  is  in  Christ.  Now  is  the  season  to 
eat ;  if  bread  and  hunger  meet,  now  satisfy  yourself.  2  Cor. 
xii.  9,  Paul  prayed,  and  the  Lord  denied ;  yet  now  the  Lord 
bids  him  feed  on  his  grace.  So  that,  when  thy  heart  asks,  What 
hast  thou  to  do  with  him  when  so  vile  ?  answer,  Yet  the  Lord 
hath  all,  and  I  want  him,  and  hunger  after  him.  Take  heed  of 
despising  his  grace  !  If  thou  hast  no  hunger,  the  Lord  be  mer- 
ciful to  thee ! 

3.  If  you  have  so  contented  yourselves  with  him,  as  now  you 
place  all  your  felicity  in  him,  to  this  end,  to  receive  life  from  him 
a^  a  man  satisfies  himself  with  bread  that  he  may  have  life.  F 
as  I  would  not  damp  the  faith  of  the  elect,  no  more  would 
patronize  the  sloth  of  the  wicked.  Many  a  man,  it  may  be,  may 
say,  I  have  nothing  in  myself,  and  all  is  in  Christ,  and  comfort 
himself  there,  and  so  fall  asleep ;  hands  off,  and  touch  not  this 
ark.  lest  the  Lord  slay  thee.  A  Christ  of  clouts  would  serve 
your  turn  as  welL  Run  not  to  this  temple  to  make  it  a  den  of^ 
your  thievish  heart ;  no,  do  you  so  content,  or  will  you  so  con- 
tent yourselves  with  him,  as  to  account  yourselves  hapi)y  here, 
iliat  all  the  world  is  dung  in  respect  of  this ;  and  this  you  do  to 
jsurk  and  receive  more  from  Christ,  and  so  to  be  like  him.  Now, 
hold  here,  and  live  here,  and  rejoice  here  forever.  Phil.  iii.  9- 
1 1  ;  Is.  xii.  2,  3.  First.  "  The  Lord  is  my  song  and  salvation  ;" 
therefore  we  will  draw  hence.  If  the  Lord  gives  nothing,  yet  I 
have  it  in  him ;  if  he  gives  any  thing,  the  honor  shall  be  given 
to  him.     O,  take  this  course  ;  1.  Lest  you  lose  Christ  and  all  too ; 

2.  Lest  the  I^rd  ever  keep  you  short  in  a  complaining  condition ; 

3.  That  you  may  be  every  day  and  moment  in  heaven,  and  win 
tlie  crown  from  every  hypocrite  who  knows  not  what  this  life  in 
Christ  means  ;  4.  That  the  Lord  may  be  your  glory,  for  he  is 
not  only  the  glory  of  Grod,  but  of  his  people  Israel  too ;  5.  That 
yoa  may  love  yourselves  tlie  less,  and  the  Lord  the  more. 


im, 

b^orl 

III 


Section  V. 
Vie  2,  HeD<*  sec  a  necessily  of  Bceing  and  knowing  Chrisl, 
before  A  man  can  believe,  or  if  €vcr  the  sou!  believe ;  for  if  faith 
closes  with  the  person  of  ihe  Lord  Jesus,  the  snme  faith  mPBt 
first  see  that  person.  K  it  lakes  the  bridegroom  himself,  it  must 
see  and  know  him  first.  Did  you  ever  see  any  espoused  together 
tlmt  did  not  first  see  and  know  each  other?  The  eve  must  first 
1  see.  My  meaning  is,  there  must  precede  this  act  of  the  under- 
.  Blanding,  to  sey  Christ,  before  a  iHan^can'dose  with  Christ  by 
'  Ills  will.  For  I  aim  not  at  lliis  whether  it  goes  before  in  time, 
but  in  order  of  mature  it  does  precede,  and  absolutely  necessary 
it  is.  flencc,  (.lohn  vi740.y""  Hethat  seeth  and  believeth  in  the 
Son  hath  eternal  life."  This  is  so  necessary  to  failh,  that  faith 
itself  puts  on  this  name.  Is.  liii.  1 1,  ■'  By  his  knowledge."  Luke 
xix.  4I1  "O  thai  thou  hadst  known!"  Is. xlvi.  21,  "  Look  unto 
[me  and  be  saved,"  And  hence  unbelief  in  Scripture  is  expressed 
Iby  being  blinded,  (Bom.  xi.  7,  8  ;)  for  thougli  Christ  be  absent 
from  us  oiTearth,  yet  that  is  the  excellency  of  faith,  it  makes 
things  absent  prciienl,  and  sees  unseen  things;  (Heb.  xi.  1 ;  John 
viii.  56,)  "Abraham  saw  my  day;"  and  that  is  the  wonderment 
of  saints  ;  there  is  light  in  Goshen  when  all  Egypt  is  dark,  when 
others  are  blinded  they  see.   Is.  Ix.  1,  2. 

Qaeil.  "Wliat  is  this  knowledge  or  seeing  of  the  Lord  ? 
Ati$.  I  make  this  question,  partly  because  this  is  the  first  chief 
evangelical  work,  as  it  appears  to  us  ;  nay,  indeed,  it  is  in  a  man- 
ner all ;  hence,  (Jifatt.  xi.  27,)  ''  1  thank  thee  thou  host  hid  these 
things,"  elc.  If  this  be  right,  failh  is  right,  etc. ;  and  if  this  be 
not,  a  man's  faith  is  but  a  fancy,  and  a  man's  sanciificaUon  and 
reformation,  hopes,  desires,  ore  but  the  works  of  death  and  dark- 
ness, if  this  sun  be  not  risen ;  and  pjtrtly,  also,  because  all  the 
policy  and  power  of  Satan  is  to  blind  the  eye  here,  for  then  he 
knows  men  will  stumble  at  every  elep,  2  Cor.  iv.  4.  He  will 
help  to  believe,  and  joy  in  believing,  and  reformation  af^er  that 
joy,  that  a  man  might  content  himself  with  tliis  joy  and  faith,  and 
kfok  not  aflcr  the  sight  of  Christ.  And  if  I  was  to  leave  the 
world,  I  should  leave  this  to  be  thought  of;  as  Christ  told  the 
woman  of  Samaria,  "  Ye  worship  whom  ye  know  not,"  so  men 
believe  in  whom  they  know  not,  and  pray  to  one  whom  Ihey 
,  know  not,  and  depend  on  whom  they  see  not,  and  hence  do  not 
-.  1  wonder  at  an  adulterous  generation  rising  up,  that  deny  all  evi- 
■  dencing  of  a  uuin's  justification  from  his  sanclificntion,  and  tliat  it: 
is  bul  a  fading  thing,  because  they  never  felt  what  it  meant, 
eauee  they  never  knew  what  the  Lord  Jesus  meant,  and  th( 


1 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  121 

fore  listen  to  it.     I  say  therefore,  first,  what  this  knowledge  is 
not,  for  every  man  has  some  knowledge.  ^ 

i.  There  is  a  knowledge  of  the  Lord  Jesus  by  report ;  the 
fame  of  a  man  may  come  where  himself  is  not  seen  ;  so  of 
Christ,  there  may  be  a  fame  spread  of  him,  and  of  some  excel- 
lences in  him,  where  he  is  not  savingly  known,  and  this  is  not 
seeing  of  Christ ;  for  a  man  may  live  and  die  a  damned  crea- 
ture with  this  knowledge.  The  Samaritans  had  some  knorwledge 
by  report  of  the  Messiah.  John  iv.  25,  ^  When  he  is  come  he 
will  tell  us  all  things ; "  so  many  among  us  hear  that  Christ  is 
come,  and  risen,  and  glorified,  and  the  Saviour  of  the  world  and 
of  sinners,  etc.  But  how  come  they  to  know  this  ?  By  way  of 
tradition  g^^j  "*por^  nnly.  I  confess  this  knowledge  may  be  a 
means  m  the  electtobring  them  to  saving  knowledge,  as  in  the 
queen  of  Sheba  that  heard  Solomon's  fame,  and  the  disciples. 
John  i.,  "  Come  and  see."  But  reprobates  are  not  drawn  by  it, 
as  Herod  (Luke  xxiii.  8)  "  heard  many  things  of  Christ,"  but 
never  saw  him  till  he  came  to  judge  him.  So  here,  because  they 
can  live  well  witliout  Christ,  hence  rest  content  with  the  bare 
report.  Whereas  they  that  had  diseases  heard  of  his  fame,  and 
cume  to  see  Jesus. 

2,  There  is  a  knowledge  of  Christ  from  his  works^  as  we 
know  what  trade  and  what  artificers  many  men  be,  because  these 
are  external  things,  yet  know  not  the  man ;  so  there  is  a  knowl- 
edjre  of  Christ  by  his  works,  that  by  him  the  worlds  were  madi'. 
(Ileb.  i.)  and  all  creatures  governed,  and  a  man  may  see  him  in 
hi:4  trading  with  others  and  himself;  all  comes  from  him,  that  a 
man  may  say  the  Lord  has  done  all  this,  and  that  for  me,  and 
yet  strangers  to  Christ.  And  if  men  be  ignorant  of  him  here, 
he  may  do  such  wonderful  things  before  their  eyes,  that  they 
can  not  but  wonder  and  say.  This  is  the  Lord's  work,  and  yet 
know  him  not.  I^Iatt.  xi.  20.  He  upbnaidcd  the  cities  where 
UKjejt  of  his  mighty  works  were  done,  but  they  saw-liim  not. 
John  XV.  24,  "  If  I  have  not  done,"  etc.  The  Lord  may  work 
t(trangc  temporal  deliverances,  that  you  may  know  all  power  is 
in  Christ's  hand  to  save  and  pardon,  (Matt.  viii.  27,)  so  ns  to 
niar\*el  and  not  envy, "  What  manner  of  man  is  this  that  winds 
and  seas  obey  him  ?  "  It  is  true,  the  saints  do  know  the  Lonl, 
but  they  are  not  idle  spectators  and  receivers  of  him  ;  but  O 
that  I  might  have  that  Christ  himself!  They  do  him  no  good, 
^ve  him  no  content  without  him ;  as  he  said,  **  What  jrivest 
thou  me  if  I  go  childless?"  John  ix.  Christ  had  opened  the 
blind  man's  eyes,  and  yet  he  cries,  **  Lonl,  who  is  he?"  (verse 
3G-^^;)  whereas  others  see  the  works  of  Christ,  and  vanish; 
VOL.  II.  11 


"        18! 


Jf 


or  if  afiected,  an  evil  spirit  comes  on  ihem,  as  on  Saul  wheii  he 
saw  David's  love. 

3.  There  is  a  literal  knowledge  of  the  Lord  Jesus  by  tlie  bare 
leller  onl^  pf  the  wordTanJ  it  is  wrought  in  this  manner.     A 
man  doth  not  only  take  up  the  knowledge  of  Christ  by  report 
nor  from  bis  works,  but  he  hears,  reads,  ia  well  t'aleehised  con- 
cerning  Chrigt  and  aJLhls  orffcSlCSnicneBta.  iliat  there  is  mui^  i 
light  lot  in ;  lience  his  mind,  liaving  those  literal  rclationa.  gue9%-' 
cth  at  them,  and  conceives  of  tht'm ;  and  beeauee  the  mind  ij 
carnal,  it  apprehends  them  in  a  carnal  manner,  (though  it  thin 
it  sees  Christ  truly.)     Hence  a  man  having  a  form  of  this  knowfiH 
1  edge  in  his  head,  he  may  be  able  to  express  much,  and  moke  »l 
large  confession  of  his  faith,  discourse  of  points  of  controverqr  T 
in  marters  that  concern  Christ,  and  justification  by  Christ,  etCj  ' 
and  instruct  others,  and  yet  having  no  more,  know  not,  all  ihia   I 
while,  what  the  Lord  Jesue  is. 

Mnt.  Because  as  he  was  a  carnal  Jew  that  had  but  the  form 
of  knowledge  in  the  law,  (Rom.  ii.  20,)  so  be  i-i  hut  a  carnal 
Christian  tliot  has  but  a  fonn  of  knowledge  in  the  gospel.  The 
Jews  were  exceedingly  versed  in  Scripture,  and  boasted  they 
heard  God,  and  saw  God  ;  Christ  tells  them  they  never  heard 
his  voice,  nor  saw  his  face,  (John  v.  30  ;)  i.  e.,  ihey  only  saw  it 
lite  raj  l.Yijpot  savingly. 

iSfconrf/f/.  This  is  but  a  carnal  knowledge,  which  letter  and 
fancy  beget.  1  Cor.  ii.  14,  "lie  con  not  know  them,  because 
they  are  spiritually  discerned." 

Thirdly.  It  is  a  dead  knowledge,  or  will  be  dead  and  unsavory ; 
and  hence  many  that  know  much  of  Christ  feed  on  their  lusta 
and  dunghill  delights,  because  their  knowledge  feeds  Llicm  not, 
fills  them  not.  as  fancies  do  not  feed. 

Fmirthly.  It  is  a  false  knowledge  ;  for  give  a  blind  man  a  de- 
scription of  the  sun,  or  a  tasteless  man  of  honey,  he  may  set  up 
a  false  image  and  deceive  himself;  and  so  doth  this.  Many  set 
up  a  false  image  of  Christ,  and  trust  to  that.  Or,  as  in  descrip- 
tion of  another  country,  wlien  he  sees  it,  then  he  sees  he  woa 
deceived.  So  samts  see  they  were  deceived,  and  saw  not  Christ, 
nor  sin,  nor  God,  and  so  shall  men  in  hell  see ;  hence,  (Is.  vi.  9.) 
"In  seeing  they  see  not."  How  came  that  to  pass?  They  did 
see^bnt  saw  not  really,  I 

ledge  na  hinilers  from  saving  ksowUl 
9,  "  I  came  that  ibcy  tliat  see  migl  ' 
;,  learned  Corinthians  must  beeom 
foolishness,  and  the  light  that  \s  in  thee  is  darkness.     This  I 
stands  in  your  light ;  and  yet  this  is  the  knowledge  that  U 


Fifthly.  It  is  such  a 
edge  of  Clirisl.     John  L 
be  made  blind."     The  » 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  123 

sands  content  themselves  withal,  and  hence  catch  hold  on  Christ, 
and  think  they  have  him,  when,  in  truth,  it  is  but  the  image  and 
fancy  of  him. 

Quest,  What,  then,  is  this  knowledge  or  seeing  of  Christ  ? 

Aru.  There  is  a  seeing  of  Christ  after  amanbelifiKea,  which 
is  Christ  in  his  love,  etc. ;  but  I  speak  of  tEaTEretlight  of  him 
that  precedes  the  second  act  of  faith,  and  it  is  an  intuitive  or 
sight  of  him  as  he  is  in  his  glory.     Christ  reveals  his  won- 
iil  glory  to  thp.  s^nl  rftj^jlyj  i^  <^-  ffr.     A  man  hears  sin  to  be^ 
e  greatest  evil,  and  sometimes  conceives  by  argument  how,  but  N 
sees  not  the  thing  sin,  though  he  sees  the  word  sin.    So  a  man  that   \ 
never  traveled  into  foreign  parts  may  hear,  and  read,  and  speak    I 
of  countries ;  or,  as  herbalists  read  of  the  nature  of  plants  and 
trees,  yet  never  saw  the  things,  nay,  trample  upon  them  when 
they  see  them ;  so  it  is  one  thing  to  read  of  the  sim  in  a  book, 
or  to  know  it  by  revelation,  another  thing  to  know  it  by  sight. 
This  is  therefore  the  saving  knowledge  of  Christ,  to  see  the! 
Lord  in  his  glory  as  he  is  ;  not  perfectly,  for  that  is  in  heavenj 
Hence  we  shall  there  see  him,  and  be  like^unto  him,  but  im- 
.  perfectly,  and  in  part ;  (2  Cor.  iii.  18,)  "  Changed  here  into  the 
Fame  image."     And  this  appears  from  these  four  grounds :  — 

1.  That  knowledge  the  saints  have  of  Christ,  it  is  not  by  bare 
word  ^nlyi  b"*^  ^^*^  by  the  Spirit.  The  word  relates  Christ,  but 
the  Spirit  ia  the  interpreter  of  the  word.  The  interpreter  of 
heaven  must  interpret  the  language  of  heaven.  Now,  the  Spirit 
ever  shows  us  things  as  they  are,  even  though  they  be  deep 
things  and  mysteries,  it  makes  them  plain ;  (1  Cor.  ii.  9,  10,) 
^  As  the  sun  when  it  ariseth  it  scatters  all  darkness,  so  when 
this  day-star  ariseth."  Not  that  these  things  are  revealed  with- 
out the  word ;  for,  (2  Cor.  ii.  14,  and  2  Cor.  iv.  4,)  lest  the  light 
of  the  gospel  should  shine.  It  is  by  the  word  that  the  Spirit 
does  enlighten. 

2.  Because  the  sight  of  the  knowledge  of  Christ,  it  is  as  the 
knowledge  of  a  thing  in  a  glass.  1  Cor.  xiii.  12.  Now,  though 
you  see  not  the  man  face  to  face,  yet  if  you  see  him  in  a  glass, 
there  you  see  him  as  he  is.  Qiiod  videtur  in  speculo,  non  est 
imago,  as  some  think.  A  man  may  know  another  by  relation  or 
by  some  picture,  but  in  a  glass  that  is  more  full.  The  Jews  they 
naw  Christ,  but  it  was  under  vails,  and  types,  and  pictures  of 
him  ;  this  was  obscure.  Under  the  gospel  the  vail  is  pulled  off, 
and  with  oi>en  face  we  see  as  in  a  "glass  the  glory  of  the  Lord." 
In  heaven,  the  glass  is  taken  away,  and  then  we  see  as  we  are. 
seen.  * ' 

3.  Becaase  that  estate  of  the  saints  is  translated  into  a  state 


I 


I 

I 


124  TilE   PARABLE   OF 

of  glory.  Ilencc,  when  justified,  then  glorified.  Hence,  ns  that 
sunctificaLion  that  is  in  the  will  is  the  beginning  of  the  life  of 
glory,  ao  that  liglit  God  puts  into  their  mind  ig  tho  beginning  of 
the  light  of  glory,  [lence,  as  in  heaven,  tlie  soul  sees  Christ 
by  tlie  full  light  of  glory  perfeetly,  face  to  face,  so  in  tliis  life 
the  soul  sees  Christ  really  aa  he  is,  yet,  as  in  a  glass,  imperfectly. 
Hence  we  are  said  lo  "  see  in  part." 

4.  In  regard  of  that  abundiuit  goodness  and  love  of  Christ 
his  people.  Love  can  not  lock  up  secrets.  Joseph  hid  himsi' 
from  his  brethren  for  a  time,  but  hia  boweU  melt ;  he  must  t 
them  that  he  is  Joseph.  Christ  may  do  so ;  but  his  love  even 
constrains  him  afterward  to  let  them  see  who  he  is,  Joha 
xiv.  21.  I  confess  its  admirable  love  to  reveal  Christ  in  the 
word  and  letter  of  the  gospel ;  to  hear  of  him  is  happiness,  Bad 
if  the  Lord  saves  you,  you  will  think  so  too.  But  this  is  com* 
mon  to  wicked  men  ;  there  is  a  manifestation  of  himself  as  he 
is  unto  hb  people.  And  now  he  is  in  glory,  hence  reveals  him- 
self in  his  inconceivable  glory,  that  now  a  man  eyes  the  Lord, 
iuid  such  things  he  never  thought  of  before,  which  eye  never 
saw.  I  Cor.  iL  9. 

Quest.  How  doth  the  soul  see  him  as  he  is  ? 

Am.  I,  in  this  case,  rather  desire  to  learn  than  teach,  even 
from  the  meanest ;  yet  what  is  obvious  I  shall  suggest  in  thi* 
weighty  business. 

Tbii  seeing  of  him  appears  in  three  particulars. 

1.  True  saving  knowledge  and  sight  of  Christ  consbt  in  the 
sight  of  the  glory  of  his  person,  especially  now  ''  caught  up  to 
heaven,  and  sitting  at  the  right  hand  of  God,  in  all  the  glory  of  the 
Father."  Look,  as  at  the  judgment  day  ihe  Lord  shtUl  break  out 
of  heaven  in  such  glory  as  shall  amaze  all  the  world,  and  all  eyea 
shall  see  him,  that  he  shall  not  only  be  admired  in  himself,  hot  in 
all  his  saints,  by  all  that  are  round  about  him.  Just  so  doth  the  soul 
see  bira  now,  (though  not  by  the  eye  of  sense,  yet  by  the  eye  of 
faith ;)  though  not  coiue  to  judge  the  world,  yet  now  ruling  of  the 
world ;  though  not  in  the  clouds,  yet  in  heaven ;  though  his  hiim&n- 
ity  only  in  heaven,  yet  his  Godhead  beams  filling  heaven  and 
earth ;  though  not  yet  coming  in  the  Father's  glory,  yet  sitting 
clothed  with  (he  Father's  glory.  For  if  a  man  looks  on  ereaturea, 
he  sees  God's  footsteps  of  power;  if  on  angels  and  saints,  Gofs 
image  of  holiness ;  if  on  Christ,  there  God  himself.  2  Cor.  rv, 
I  4r-7.  It  is  true,  then,  Christ's  glory  shall  be  seen  by  the  wicke^ 
I  but  thitt.a_lgLfleii9e)notbyfaithj  that  is  only  in  their  minds,  bid 
there  is  no  shining  into  the  henri,  lo  the  kindling  of  an  infinite 
esteem  of  him.     And  tliis  the  god  of  this  world  hides  frrau 


I 


I 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  125 

people.  Christ,  the  Lord  of  another  world,  in  spite  of  Satan,  re- 
Teals  to  his  people.  Before  a  man  sees  Christy  there  is  nothing 
more  base  than  Christ,  even  to  the  elect,  and  then  the  ways  and 
work  of  Christ.  Jer.  ii.  11,  "Have  any  heathen  changed  their 
pods  ?  These  change  their  glory  for  that  which  doth  not  profit." 
Now,  the  Lord  will  be,  must  be  esteemed  of  his  people  ;  hence 
wiU  and  does  reveal-  this  glory  of  his  to  his  saints,  whereas  here 
others  are  blind. 

2.  In  the  beholding  of  the  Lord  as  he  comes  and  appears  in 
the  glory  of  his  covenant ;  for  when  the  Lord  reveals  himself 
so  as  to  cause  the  soul  to  believe,  and  thereby  to  make  it  one  of 
his  people,  he  never  makes  any  people,  but  by  entering  into 
covenant  with  them.     Hence  he  ever  appears  in  his  covenant 
first.  Is.  xlix.  ult.     Look,  ns  when  the  Lord  made  him  a  people 
at  Mount  Sinai,  Moses  came  down  from  God,  appears  with  tables 
in  his  hands,  etc.     So  when   Christ  comes   to   make   any  his 
people,  he  comes  as  mediator  of  a  better  testament.    Ileb.  vii. 
22,  **  On  Mount  Sion."  Heb.  xii.  22,  24.     Now,  look,  as  it  was! 
with  the  Israelites,  (2  Cor.  iii.,)  they  had  the  covenant  of  Christ, 
and  Christ  revealed ;  but  as  Moses'  face  was  covered,  so  theirs 
was,  and  Christ  there  was- tailed  over  with  the  law,  even  the 
moral  law,  written  in  stone.     Hence  there  was  a  vail  on  their 
hearts  too ;  they  could  not  see  Christ,  the  end  of  the  law,  but 
only  the  vail,  viz.,  the  law  ;  and   hence  looked  for  life  by  that, 
and  hence  were  hardened  against  Christ.  Rom.  ix.  31,  32.     So  it, 
i*  the  misery  and  blindness  of  many  people  at  tliis  day  ;  they  see '. 
the  Lord  Jesus,  but  with  his  vail  on.    For  people  being  not  able 
to  see  and  prize  the  glory  of  Christ  immediately,  the  Lord  ap- 
pears with  the   law  first,  requiring   this   and    that,   and   they 
endeavor  to  do  it ;  and  hence,  if  they  can  not,  they  comfort  them- 
selves with  this,  The  Lord  accepts  my  endeavors,  not  seeing  the 
hypocrisy  of  them,  or  else  they  are  never  at  peace,  or  very  sel- 
dom.    And  why  ?    Because  they  see  not  to  the  end  of  that  which 
is  abolished  ;  never  saw  the  end,  the  Lord  Jesus  Chnst.     Now, 
therefore,  when  the  Ijord  reveals  himself,  the  Lord  makes  him- 
self known  without  the  vail ;  so  tliat  when  conscience  cries,  you 
must  do  whatever  is  commanded  or  die ;  the  Lord  Jesus  now 
comes  and  appears,  and  saith.  Therefore  see  what  need  thou  hast 
of  me,  who  have  fuliilled  all  righteousness,  and  done  all.     Re- 
ceive me  that  have  done  it,  and  thou  shalt  live.     O,  but  may  I 
now  live  as  I  list  ?    Am  I  now  free  from  the  law  ?    No  ;  it  is  to 
be  thy  rule  and  life  in  heaven  ;  but  "  I  will  write  my  laws  in  thy 
heart,  and  cause  thee  to  walk  in  my  ways."     Ilt-nce  the  soul 
sees  all  done  for  him  :  1.  In  Christ ;  2.  All  that  he  is  to  do  for 

11* 


H        ISS 


Christ,  lie  sees  it  not  in  meAii^,  nor  in  liimaclf,  but  in  the  1 
Lord's  proDiiso ;  and  liere  fuith  Imngd  and  has  peace.  For  two  | 
things  trouble  :  — 

Firtt.  I  have  broke  the  first  covenant  of  the  law  ;  Christ  af-  J 
pear^  not  as  one  that  exac(8  tlic  debt,  but  as  one  that  comes  la  \ 
enrich  him  when  poor. 

Secondls/.  I  can  not  walk  after  it  as  a  rule  ;  Christ  appears  in  ' 
tliis  covenant,  and  proraisetti  to  cause  him  to  do  it ;  and  hence, 
ailer  all  departinga  from  the  Lord,  he  will  not  depart  farther  hy 
unbelief,  but  sees  tlie  end  of  the  law,  which  is  Christ,  tLat  in 
him  they  may  perform  the  covenant,  and  by  him  be  strengthened 
to  walk  with  him  aa  after  a  rule.     For  tlie  covenant  of  grace  is 
not,  Christ  will  be  righteousness  to  thee  if  tbou  wilt  walk  aft«r 
the  law  as  a  rule,  imt  Christ  will  do  both  ;  and  this  the  aoul  sees 
in  its  glory,  else  it  is  no  sight.     Hence  (2  Cur.  iii.)  g(»pel  ti 
called  "  the  ministration  of  glory,"  which  no  cartml  heart  can  see ; 
for  the  rail  is  taken  away  when  it  turns  to  iLe  Lord,  and  sees 
him.     The  sainta  only  with  open  face  behold  this.     It  is  true, 
for  a  time  they  may  make  of  Christ  a  Moses  ;  ns  Peier,  (Luke  v. 
8,)  "  Lord,  depart  from  me ;  I  am  a  sinful  mau."    And  the  Lord 
may  deal  roughly  with  them  to  humble  them,  as  Joseph  did  to 
his  brethren,  but  it  will  not  ever  hold ;  and  the  Lord  appearing 
thus  to  them  that  have  been  stung  by  the  Liw  and  that  killing 
letter,  now  the  Lord  appears  in  inolfable  beauty  and  glory.     To 
others  there  is  nothing  in  it ;  they  may  see  this,  yet  not  believe^ 
3.  In  seeing  the  Lord  in  the  glory  of  his  grace,  or  fitness  for 
him,  and  this  is  the  main.     For  look,  as  it  is  in  marriage,  there 
ia  a  respect  to  beauty  and  feature,  and  that  draws.     Now,  a 
woman  sometimes  appears  to  one  so,  that  though  her  portion  ho 
great,  etc,  yet  he  can  not  like  ;  another  can,  because  God  has  a 
hand  in  it,  and  what  fits  tlie  fancy,  that  is  beauty;  there  is  A  4 
eaitableness  every  way.     So  Christ  is  presented  with  a  rich  pop- 1 
tion  to  many,  and  yet  they  can  not  like,  can  not  see  a  beau^  I 
because  ihey  can  not  see  a  fitness  and  suitableness  to  them  anl  1 
for  them.     Auother  man  can  ;  because  he  sees  fitness  and  suit*-  | 
bleneas  in  the  Lord  Jesus  for  him,  in  respect  of  his  misery  a 
sin,  and  his  gracious  disposition.    Jolin  i.  14,  "But  we  saw  hial 
glory  —  full  of  grace  and  truth."     Ps.  xlv.  2,  "  Thou  art  fairv  m 
Uian  the  children  of  men,  full  of  grace  arc  thy  lips  ; "  wliieh  ia  J 
BO  beautiful  in  the  Lord's  eyes,  that  the  Fatlicr  hence  ei 
the  Son,  for  all  the  grace  he  shows  to  Ins  elect.     Now,  i 
I  makes  Christ  appear  fil  ?     Ant.  The  knowledge  of  a  man's  aeliM 
j  and  sense  of  vileness.   Hence,  (Luke vii. 29,30,)  "The  PharisM*! 
despised  the  counsel  of  God  against  themselves,  when  publtouil 


THE  TEN   YIRGINS.  127 

justified  Gvod,''  etc.  And  it  is  a  rule,  that  the  saving  knowledge  / 
of  Christ  is  dependent  upon  the  sensible  knowledge  of  a  man's  ' 
self.  Let  a  Christian  in  Christ  lie  in  his  sins,  and  comfort  him- 
self in  remission  of  them  without  repentance,  he  may  talk  of 
Christ,  but  no  beautj  will  appear  in  Christ.  So  it  is  at  first ;  the 
soul  feels  sin,  and  that  God  is  holy,  and  will  hate  him  ;  then  the 
Lord  shows  Christ  came  to  call  such.  Yea ;  but  I  have  no  good, 
and  can  not  help  myself.  Christ  appears  fit  to  seek  out  such. 
O,  but  I  can  not  see,  nor  believe,  nor  be  affected  ;  Christ  appears 
one  fit  to  do  all,  full  of  wisdom  to  perform  the  second  covenant 
O,  but  I  want  all  things  ;  Christ  appears  all-sufficient.  O,  but  I 
shall  fall ;  Christ  appears  constant  in  his  love.  O,  but  he  is  far 
to  seek ;  Christ  appears  present.  O,  but  I  shall  sin ;  Christ  ap- 
pears merciful  to  bear  with  and  heal  infirmities.  O,  but  I  shall 
believe  too  soon ;  he  is  fit  to  prepare  and  dispose.  O,  but  aU 
the  world  will  be  against  me ;  Christ,  therefore,  appears  fit  tc 
rule  all  for  me.  O,  but  death  and  grave  may  hurt  me ;  Christ 
appears  fit,  who  has  conquered  all,  and  this  is  ever  in  the  saints. 
Now,  lest  you  should  think  you  have  this  when  you  have  not,  and 
know  it  not,  see  the  evidences  hereof. 

1.  If  ever  the  Lord  has  thus  revealed  himself  to  thee,  he  has 
brought  this  light  out  of  darkness,  and  made  thee  sensible  of  it. 
2  Cor.  iv.  5,  6.  O,  you  that  have  been  a  little  troubled,  and 
then  hear  of  Christ,  and  then  depend  on  him,  and  wait  for  com- 
fort from  him,  and  now  you  are  well.  You  never  yet  saw  him. 
Nay,  if  truly  enlightened,  you  will  go  mourning  to  your  graves 
for  your  ignorance  of  him,  (Prov.  xxx.  2  ;)  and  seldom  is  your 
darkness  seen  and  felt,  but  there  is  some  beam  let  in. 

2.  It  damps  the  glory  of  all  the  world,  that  a  man  lays  dowp.^ 
all  at  Christ's  feet,  as  the  wise  men.  Matt.   ii.    'As  glowworm 
stars  go  out  when  the  light  of  the  sun  ariseth,  so  all  the  comforts 
and  all  the  miseries  of  the  world  are  nothing  now  ;  (Act^  vii.)  I 
see  Jesus.  A 

3.  It  makes  a  man  very  vile  in  his  own  eyes.  Is.  vi.  5.  Nay, 
his  excellency  vile  as  Isaiah  his  tongue,  and  wonders  that  the  Lord 
should  look  upon  him^  a  worm,  who  is  so  glorious.  "  What  am 
I  that  the  mother  of  my  Lord  should  come  to  me  ?  "  etc.  lie 
pees  Christ  fit,  and  then  sees  his  glory,  and  then  saitli,  "  Wliat, 
me.  Lord  ?  "  me  to  stxmd  before  thee  ?  Lord,  depart ;  I  am  a 
sinful  man ! 

4.  It  necessitates  the  heart  to  believe,  not  with  assurance,  but 
with  a  clinging  to  him.  IIyix)crites  have  knowledge  of  Christ, 
but  it  never  heats  the  heart ;  this,  as  fire,  necessarily  heats,  and 
that  which  is  put  to  it  is  heated,  so  here  ;  for  the  sight  of  the 


r 


128 


TKE    PABABLE    OF 


last  end  doth  nemssitale  n-ben  it  is  seen,  (in.  It.  4,  5  ;)  "  They 
ehall  run  lo  thee,  because  God  haa  glorified  thee."  Rom.  i.  16, 
17,  itia  the  power  of  God,  for  there  is  righleoosness  revealed. 
That  though  the  Lord  bids  depurt,  yet  he  con  not  be  gone,  nay, 
when  he  concludes,  yet  (as  Jonah  ii.  4)  so  he  ean  see  to  a  tem- 
ple through  tlie  belly  of  a  whale.  Many  say,  Slay  I  believe  ? 
or  I  can  not  prize  him  I  I  tell  you,  when  the  Lord  appears  as 
he  is,  you  can  not  resist  that  light,  but  you  must  cling  to  him. 

a.  Where  this  is,  a  reian  rests  uot  here,  but  sees  more  and  more 
of  him.  John  i.  49,  50,  a  man  sees  now  his  glory,  but  after  be 
shall  see  his  love,  and  after  that  he  shall  know  his  mind,  (I  Cor. 
ii.  9  ;  Epli.  i.  9,)  "  the  mystery  of  his  will."  And  then  his  con- 
stnnt  presence,  and  all  his  walkings  with  him  and  toward  him,  so 
as  to  be  familiar  with  him,  that  in  time  of  old  age  he  shall  be  an 
acquaintance  of  Christ's  ;  (2  Cor.  iii.  1 8,)  "  from  glory  lo  glory  ; " 
whereas  a  hypocrite's  light  goes  out,  or  grows  not.  Hence 
many  ancient  slanders  take  all  their  comfort  from  the  first  work, 
and  droop  when  in  old  age.  I  know  the  saint's  light  is  ob- 
scured, and  the  Lord  hides  his  face,  but  tiien  they  are  troubled, 
and  it  shall  break  out,  "  with  healing  in  his  wings."  Nay,  ill 
their  lifetime  ihey  may  think  they  know  him  not,  bccauBe  tbey 
have  not  those  meaaureB.     O,  therefore,  see  a  necessity  of  it. 

1.  You  that  are  vile,  and  ignorant  of  Christ,  no  faith  yet,  no 
Christ  yet.  And  what  then  ?  Thy  sins  are  upon  ihee  now,  and 
woe  to  tliec,  tor  "  the  wrath  to  come."  0,  poor  creature  !  Ihon 
doBt  not  see,  nor  canst  not  see ;  if  thou  didst,  thou  wouldst  not 
crucify  the  Lord  of  glory. 

2.  You  that  be  professors  of  the  church,  O,  deceive  not  your- 
selves!  If  the  Lord  has  enlightened  you,  O,  bless  himl  If 
Christ  were  here,  he  would  bless  you.  Matt.  xiii.  16.  Nay,  whrat 
he  was  here,  he  did  it;  he  doth  it  in  heaven.  "I  thank  thee, 
Father,"  etc.  Matt.  xi.  25;  Luke  x.  21.  But  if  not,  all  is  ntt- 
eound  that  ever  you  had.  O,  therefore,  look  you  be  not  deceived 
here,and  therefore  wait  upon  the  Lord  to  manifest  himself!  Who 
knows  but  the  Lord  may  help?  Nay,  when  you  arc  feeling  of  tlw^ 
infinite  need  of  it,  and  of  your  own  woful  blindness,  it  b  bcgoib.j 

Section  VI. 

UtB  3.  See  the  happiness  of  saints  (all  you  stnnders  by)  a 

of  all  believers.     Tou  think  wliat  are  they?    Wliat  have  lh<^ 

that  I  Lave  not?     What  get  they  hy  seeking,  by  mournuigB 

They  have  the  Lord  himself;  nut  kingdoms,  nor  heaven,  i  ' 

.    guard  of  angels,  not  pardon,  nor  comfort  or  grace  only. 


THE   TEN   VIBGINS.  129 

which  IS  greater,  and  than  which  there  can  be  no  greater,  the 
Lord  of  glory  himself.  Is  there  any  thing  that  is  good  there  ? 
It  is  theirs.  I  doubt  not  but  angels  stand  amazed  at  this.  What 
hast  thou  ?  Thou  hast  peace,  and  ease,  and  duties,  and  friends, 
but  no  Christ ;  then  poor  and  cursed  thou  art. 

Section  VII. 

U$e  4.  Hence  learn  to  judge  of  your  faith,  whether  it  be  of 
the  right  make  or  no ;  whether  it  be  such  a  faith  as  will  never 
fail  you,  but  shall  in  deepest  miseries,  in  sorest  ironies,  and 
most  furious  temptations,  nay,  in  greatest  sins  and  desertions^ 
be  indeed  a  friend  unto  you.  Is  it  such  a  faith  as  pitches  on, 
and  closeth  with,  the  person  of  Christ  himself,  and  him  alone  ? 
So  that  all  the  delights  in  creatures  quiet  thee  not,  unless  thou 
canst  find  him  through  them;  nay,  no  ordinances  cheer  thee, 
unless  thou  canst  see  him  in  them ;  nay,  heaven  itself  will  not 
content  thee,  but  him  in  heaven,  (Ps.  Ixxiii.  25 ;)  and  hence  it 
is  him  thou  seekest,  him  thou  seest ;  it  is  him  thou  approvest 
thyself  unto,  and  servest  So  that  it  is  this  Rock  of  Ages  thou 
trustest  to.  Is.  xxvi.  3,  4.  It  is  his  strength  thou  art  strong  by, 
it  i-s  his  life  thou  livest  by,  it  is  the  Lord  himself  that  thy  faith 
fathoms.  This  is  right,  (1  Pet.  ii.  7 ;)  for  now  what  good  can 
the  Father  deny  thee,  when  he  has  given  a  Son  to  thee?  What 
hurt  can  Satan  do  thee  by  all  his  shakings,  when  thou  hast  the 
Son  himself,  this  comer  stone,  this  horn  of  salvation,  to  support 
thee  ?  What  hurt  can  the  law  do  thee,  when  thou  hast  righteous- 
ness in  a  Son  ?  What  hurt  can  delusion  do  thee,  when  thou  hast 
wisdom,  ever  plotting  for  thy  good,  in  such  a  glorious  head  as  the 
Son  ?  What  hurt  can  death  do  thee,  or  sin  do  thee,  when  thy 
life  is  in  the  Son  ?  "  O,  lead  me  to  the  Rock,"  saith  David,  "  that 
is  higher  than  I ! "  O,  here  is  a  Rock  higher  than  death,  than 
grave,  than  sin,  than  Satan  !  Who  can  hurt  thee  now  ?  But, 
O  beloved,  how  many  fall  short  of  "  entering  into  this  rest,"  and 
closing  with  this  person !  And  there  are  four  sorts  of  them  that 
spin  the  finest  thread  of  deceit  to  themselves,  that  think  they  be- 
lieve, when  yet  they  have  not  the  Son. 

1.  Those  that  do  not  close  with  himself,  but  only  come  to  him 
for  some  righteousness  out  of  himself,  (for  I  shall  not  speak  of 
them  that  forsake  all,  and  follow  Christ,  for  the  bag  and  for  the 
loaves,)  for  it  is  with  all  men  living  naturally  as  it  is  with  men 
that  have  been  rich  shopkeepers,  but  now  they  arc  broke,  and 
cast  into  great  want :  steal  they  will  not,  dig  they  can  not,  beg 
they  know  not  how,  turn  apprentice  to  another  they  must  not ; 


I 


180  TIIK   hARABLE   OF 

they  have  not  been  used  to  that  life  ;  hence  tliej  resolve  to  set 
up  ili^ir  trade  again,  though  tliej  sell  but  pins,  find  poinU,  and 
email  wares;  and  because  tlioy  can  not  set  up  for  ibemselves, 
they  go  unto  merchants  to  help  them,  and  run  into  their  bo<^ 
on  tru9(,  and  desire  day  and  patienee,  and  ihey  will  pay  them 
all  again.    Now,  it  is  not  ihe  man  that  they  respect,  but  to  make 
up  their  markclB  out  of  him.     But,  alns !  they  can  not  pay  their 
deblB,  and  hence  to  prison  they  go.     So  it  ia  here :  God  set  up 
Adam  with  a  stock  in  his  own  hand  ;  now  he  is  broken,  and  cstit 
into  great  want,  and  fears  the  arrest  of  Gl>d'a  displeasure.    Now, 
sin  men  dare  not,  dig  and  help  themseives  they  can  not,  and  to 
heg  and  live  upon  the  Lord  and  his  alms  they  know  not  bow-; 
indeed,  they  will  not;  they  are  not  used  to  this  life  ;  hence  seek 
to  eet  up  their  trade  again,  though  in  never  go  small  duties ;  and 
because  they  can  not  help  themselves,  hence  they  go  to  Christ ; 
not  as  to  a  husband,  for  himself,  but  as  to  a  merchant,  (o  set  them 
up  again.     And  truly  Christ,  for  many  ends,  and  to  show  his 
freeness  to  his  own,  gives  many  talents  to  such,  which  thej  re- 
ceiving, hope  to  please  the  Lord  by :  when  I  can  get  the  Lord 
to  give  me  some  more  knowledge,  brokenness,  affections,  en- 
largements, abilities  to  do,  then  I  hope  I  sliall  please  him ;  but 
either  they  spend  all,  and  fall  sway  to  nothing,  before  lliey  die, 
or  else  death  comes  and  carries  them  captive  to  the  judgment 
eeat  of  God;  and  there  they  see  they  are  run  but  iJie  deeper  in 
debt,  and  not  able  to  pay.     Thus  it  is  with  Papists,  who  profesa 
that  none  of  their  own  works  save,  bat  his  works  in  us,  and  his    | 
blood  meriting,  that  these  shall  save.     Hence  they  t: 
what  they  do,  but  to  what  tlie  Lord  does,  against  which  veixl 
faith  the  apostle  disputes.  Rom.  iv.  5.     Thus  it  was  with  tb»  1 
Jews;  divcra  despised  Christ,  and  sought  a  righteousnesa  of] 
their  own  ;  others  cried.  Lord,  Lord,  Lord,  there  be  these  i 
that  wring  my  conscience ;  ease  me  of  them ;  here  be  these  do-  | 
ties  I  must  ilo,  else  never  saved,  and  my  heart  is  dead.     O,  a 
feet  me,  and  help  me  to  do  them ;  there  be  such  works  I  am  tA  | 
perform,  and  have  no  strength  to  pray,  to  prophesy ;  Lord,  i 
me!     Matt-  vii.  21,  22,  "Depart,  I  know  you  not;"  nevei 
cepled  of  yon  ;  you  thought  these  things  would  please  me  i 
closed  not  with  me.     O,  now  depart  from  me,  from  my  felloWTl 
■hip,  my  bosom,  my  presence !    For  this  is  ever  their  frame ;  thi 
tliink  to  pacify  God  hy  what  they  do,  and  though  ihey  tliink  1 
justice  can  not,  yet  Iliey  hope  there  is  such  indulgence  in  1 
mercy  that  he  will  accept.     Thus  it  was,  (Is.  Iviii.  i,)  for  ihia  I 
their  temper;  they  are  not  wounded  with  the  want  of  Ch  " 
himself^  hut  with  some  jarrings  against  the  law,  for  which  t 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  131 

fear  thej  mast  die.  Hence,  not  seeing  into  the  spiritual  nature 
of  the  law,  thej  are  wounded,  not  slain,  by  the  law ;  they  hope 
they  shall  live,  if  they  can  leave  such  sins,  perform  such  duties, 
feel  such  abilities.  Now,  having  made  trial  at  home,  they  go  to 
Christ,  and  seek  him  with  delight  for  to  work  this  or  that,  and  then 
they  are  well.  Now,  if  they  do  not  receive  at  present,  then  they 
hope  by  seeking  to  find  in  time.  If  he  doth  not  help  them,  then 
they  shall  be  welL  Hence  they  ever  live  in  some  sin,  and  know 
it  not,  as  these  did,  and  as  the  young  man.  'pSjaiU  xix.  And  thus 
it  is,  as  it  is  with  two  princes ;  one  is  in  trouble  by  inroaders  ; 
he  sends  for  aid  to  another,  but  doth  not  cast  down  his  crown, 
and  put  himself  in  subjection  to  the  other.  So  men  will  be 
kings,  and  hence  send  for  aid  against  the  inroads  of  some  sin 
that  stings  conscience,  but  put  not  themselves  under  the  Lord 
Jesus.  Bring  those  mine  enemies  hither.  Luke  xix.  27.  In  one 
word,  as  the  wound  is,  so  is  my  closing  with  Christ.  If  one  be 
in  outward  trouble,  now  to  Christ  he  goes  to  deliver ;  if  pressed 
with  inward  trouble  for  some  sins,  now  to  Christ  to  remove  them, 
and  so  to  pacify  conscience ;  if  with  want  of  Christ  himself,  now 
he  goes  for  himself. 

2.  Those  that  close  with  promises  without  Christ  himself,  and 
divide  between  them  too,  that  strip  Christ  of  these  his  swad- 
dliiig-clouts,  make  their  gain  of  these,  and  let  himself  go.  I 
confess  all  a  Christian's  wealth  is  laid  up  in  promises,  not  in 
words  and  syllables,  for  they  are  dead  things,  but  Christ  in  them, 
and  Grod*s  faithfulness  in  them.  2  Sam.  xxiii.  4,  5.  This  is  all 
my  salvation,  for  all  fuUness  is  in  Christ ;  he  is  rich,  but  what 
am  I  the  better  ?  Nay,  the  more  miserable,  for  all  emptiness  is 
in  me  ;  therefore  in  the  promise  lies  my  peace.  And  this  is  a 
Christian's  support  in  all  troubles,  and  hence  he  casts  anchor 
here ;  but  here  b  his  frame,  he  lays  not  hold  on  them  without 
Christ,  but  by  them  goes  to  Christ,  and  there  rests.  John  vi.  4G, 
**  He  that  has  heard  of  the  Father  cometh  unto  me."  Give 
children  milk  in  the  dish,  they  cry  still ;  they  must  have  it  from 
the  mother,  and  there  suck ;  so  2  Pet.  i.  2,  3.  Now,  there  are 
others,  that  finding  some  work  in  themselves  without  Christ,  and 
thinking  that  it  is  saving,  and  so  a  good  sign,  hence  are  mis- 
taken, and  close  with  it  without  Christ ;  and  now  they  think  it  is 
well.  I  doubt  not  but  the  Jews  that  be  devout  comforted  them- 
selves with  that  promise,  **  He  that  confesseth,"  etc.,  (Prov.  xxviii. 
13,)  not  understanding  of  it ;  Matt,  iii.,  "  Say  not  within  your- 
selves, We  have  Abraham  to  our  father ; "  that  promise  kept  them 
off  from  Christ.  Matt  xxii.  Some  came  not  to  the  feast,  some 
came,  but  without  a  wedding  garment.     It  is  with  these  men  as 


I 


132  THK    l-AUABLK    (IF 

it  is  willi  men  that  come  to  buj  wines  ;  they  loste  them,  and  con- 
tent iliemaelves  wilh  a  taste ;  another  burs  llie  thing ;  a  aaint  doth 
£0.  Another  laslfs  tlie  sweet,  and  after  t'olU  to  the  unpardonable 
pin.  Heb.vi.  Or,  as  it  is  with  amantbat  goescomon  thegrouod, 
ho  buys  the  field ;  another  he  gleans  soniewlmt,  and  contents 
himself  with  that.     There  is,  in  one  word,  a  double  error: — 

Fir*l.  When  a  man  shall  close  with  Christ  without  promises, 
and  henee  seek  to  be  seated  without  a  promise.  Hence,  say 
lome,  you  must  not  gather  any  evidence  from  any  qualificotioa 
you  feel  in  yourself. 

Seeondlg.  When  men  shall  snatch  and  nibble  at  promises  aii4 
misapply  them,  not  closing  with  Christ  in  them  and  by  them.  Z 
have  confessed  my  Bin,  and  repented,  and  run  away  with  thb 
without  Christ.  0,  time  will  come,  the  Lord  will  say,  Ilow  cameat 
thou  in  hither  ?  What  hast  thou  to  do  to  lake  my  promises  into 
thy  mouth,  la  arm  thyself  against  Christ,  by  promises  to  maka  ft 
spoil  of  Christ's  grants,  and  let  him  be  crucihed  ?  When  Saul 
rent  off  Samuel's  garment,  he  said,  "  The  Lord  shall  rend,"  et& 
1  Sam.  XV.  27, 28.  The  letter  kills  ;  all  promises  without  Chriet 
slay,  because  they  keep  the  furnishing  soul  fi-om  bread  itself. 

3.  Those  that  close  not  with  promises  only,  but  with  Christ 
himself,  hut  it  is  only  with  tlie  image  and  fauey  of  him,  which, 
they  think,  is  himself.  In  true  faith,  the  Father  reveala  the  Son 
as  he  is,  or  the  Son  reveab  himself  as  he  is,  and  faith  hence 
closes  with  him  us  he  is.  John  vi.  40.  But  some  there  be  that 
hear  of  him,  hence  think  wliat  he  is.  Hence  a  carnal  mind 
imagines  of  him  as  it  imagines  of  a  king  in  a  far  country,  and 
fails  down  to  his  Image,  and  trusts  to  it,  and  depends  on  it,  and 
joys  in  it,  until  a  man  comes  to  be  converted  or  die,  and  then  he 
sees  the  deceit.  Or  if  he  did  see  him,  yet  he  can  see  no  beauty 
in  bira  to  desire  him.  There  is  many  a  man  in  this  case  thi4> 
trusts  to,  and  joys  in  Clirist,  whom,  if  he  did  know,  he  wouN|| 
loalho.  John  came  preaching  the  gospel  to  show  them  Cbriatf 
they  all  came  to  him.  and  rejoiced  in  his  light,  but  it  was  but  foF 
a  season  ;  for  when  he  came  to  show  them  "  there  he  is,"  (John 
i.  29,)  not  one  man  stirs  when  he  shows  them  Christ,  and  verse 
3a,  "only  two;"  and  chap.  iii.  32,  "No  man  received  his  tes- 
timony." This  is,  beloved,  the  great  sin  and  cause  of  all  the 
rest,  if  they  had  known  they  would  not  have  crucified  the  Lord 
Christ  is  not  seen,  hence  not  thought  of,  heme  not 
esteemed,  hence  men  boast  not  in  him.  Nay,  it  is  the  great 
plague,  un<ier  means,  that  in  seemg  ihcy  see  not.  ■'  Lord,  how 
long?"  You  say,  Clirist  is  never  so  clearly  true,  but  thou  itt' 
seeing  nmyst  not  see ;  and  if  it  be  seen  thiu,  then  look  for 


i 


THE  TEN    VIBGIKS.  133 

Is.  vi.  9-12.  We  nay,  Christians  want  not  light,  but  life  and 
affections.  O,  beg  for  light  that  will  bring  affections,  else  all  af- 
fections will  dry  up,  if  not  fed  with  this  spring.  John  v.  37. 
What  people  had  such  means  as  they  ?  yet  they  had  not  eyes 
to  see. 

4.  Those  that  do  not  close  with  the  bare  fancy  of  Christ,  but 
with  himself;  but  it  is  not  for  himself  and  for  his  holiness,  but 
only  for  his  peace,  and  consolations,  and  joys.  Like  a  sick  wo- 
man that  comes  to  the  physician,  not  to  marry  her,  but  to  heal 
her,  cure  her,  and  so  comfort  her.  Or,  if  she  doth  come  to  marry 
him,  it  is  only  to  satisfy  her  lust,  or  to  save  her  from  trouble,  etc. 
In  a  word,  they  receive  Christ,  that  he  may  give  contentment  to 
them,  and  not  that  hereby  they  may  also  give  contentment  unto 
him.  They  close  with  Christ  to  make  them  happy,  not  to  make 
th<>ip  holy  ^  but  they  thus  closing  with  him,  think  they  have  him, 
and  hence  rejoice  exceedingly,  and  hence  have  a  love  to  him,  and 
hence  have  some  kind  of  communion  with  him,  and  hence  think 
they  are  espoused  to  him,  and  more  familiar  with  him  than  others, 
and  hence  verily  look  with  these  "  five  foolish  virgins,"  to  em- 
brace the  bridegroom.  That  look  as  a  saint,  from  a  'false  appre- 
hension of  Christ,  to  be  none  of  his,  may  be  very  sad,  lose  his 
joy,  nay,  his  very  love,  in  the  act  of  it,  nay,  his  communion  and 
boldness  to  go  to  him,  nay,  his  expectation  of  him ;  so  from  a 
false  conceit  that  Christ  is  mine,  e  contra.  Thus  a  man  is  griev- 
ously troubled  with  the  sight  of  Grod*s  anger  and  with  horror,  and 
oseth  all  means ;  at  last  he  sees  only  Christ  can  do  it,  and  hence 
seeks  for  and  prizeth  his  love,  (for  his  own  ease  ;)  for  as  horror 
may  be  his  greatest  evil,  so  love  to  ease  him  may  be  his  grejitest 
good.  At  last  he  is  fully  persuaded.  How  ?  By  any  work  or 
word  ?  No  ;  but  God  has  persuaded,  and  it  is  now  sealed,  hence 
joy.  But  now  there  is  matter  of  more  trouble,  holiness  and  close 
walking  with  Christ ;  this  is  troublesome.  He  cares  not  for 
Christ  to  help  him  here,  but  deviseth  how  to  keep  Christ  and 
joy  without  holiness.  Hence  let  a  world  of  sin  lie  upon  them, 
they  be  not  troubled  with  that ;  they  look  up  to  Christ.  Or,  if 
they  see  and  be  troubled  at  it,  they  take  it  as  a  burden,  not  as 
the  greatest  burden.  Hence,  say  men,  you  must  not  judjje  of 
your  estate  by  any  thing  or  qualification  you  feel  in  yourself,  for 
these  may  fail  your  eyesight  in  misty  limes  ;  but  we  must  follow 
it  then,  and  not  rest  till  we  see  and  find  it ;  for  **  without  holi- 
ness no  man  shall  see  God."  Hence  also,  let  there  be  never  so 
many  falls,  yet,  say  they,  never  call  your  state  into  question ; 
hence  they  profess,  we  can  not  move  till  we  be  moved,  and  if  I  do 
not,  it  is  not  my  fault.     Hence,  if  ministers  do  preach  any  things 

YOL.   II.  12 


1  a 

3V-    I 

md 
■\f*a    I 


» 


1S4  1 

■whiPh  are  not  about  the  person  of  Cbrist,  or  the  excellency  ofM 

Ckristi&n  in  Christ,  or  the  cmptiuess  of  the  creature  to  preparavf 

for  Christ,  (which  are,  indeed,  of  great  use.)  noA  press  to  Bay 

work  or  service  of  Christ,  ihey  are  legal  preachers,  and  bring^ 

people  under  a  covenant  of  vrorka.     Whereas,  if  we  preach  du- 

ri  ties,  and  leave  ihem  as  signs,  before  being  in  Chrisl,  tiiey  are  so ; 

■  but  here  to  preach  any  duty  of  the  law  ia  part  of  the  BWeet  will 

I  of  Christ.     Tell  ua  (say  they)  what  we  should  do.     What  can  a 

man  do?     "  He  can  do  all  things  through  Christ."     True,  but 

Christ  must  come  to  act  it.     Yea,  but  he  has  a  faith  to  fetch  ib   ■ 

1  John  i.  6.     Itlany  said  they  had  communion  with  him.  1  Johk  J 
ii.  3,  4.     It  seems,  they  said  "  they  had  no  sin  ; "  as  now  somel 
say,  God  sees  no  sin  in  justified  people,  God  looks  to  the  new^ 
creature  only  ;  it  is  not  I,  but  sin.     If  the  Spirit  help  not,  it  u 
not  my  fault.     Not  many  days  since  it  did  lie  upon  the  spirit  of 
one,  who  seeing  Christ  has  undertaken  all,  closed  with  him,  re- 
joiced in  him,  not  for  this  end,  not  from  the  beauty  they  saw  in 
holiness,  nor  bitlemcss  of  sinfulness,  but  because  they  would  be 
eased  of  ihe  work.     I  have  known  them  that  have  lived  in  some 
sin,  and  promised  the  Lord  shall  be  blessed  if  he  save  them  in 
their  sin,  and  conceiting  he  would  have  loved  him;  thus  these, 
lu  R  word,  the  soul  of  man  desires  rest  and  peace,  seeks  for  it  in 

'  creatures,  seeks  to  satisfy  iLielf  there ;  there  it  can  not ;  hence 
seeks  for  it  (as  many  dying  men  do)  in  Christ,  not  in  the  grace, 
but  in  the  joy  of  Christ ;  nut  in  Christ's  holy  presence,  but  in  bis 
comforting  presence  ;  seeking  the  utmost  perfection  of  a  Christian 
in  the  seat  of  the  Spirit,  not  in  the  mighty  actings  of  the  Spirit 
for  God.  Hence  he  ia  deluded,  and  fancies  he  has  Christ,  and 
hence  joy.  Sin  in  the  great  evil ;  hence  the  end  of  Christ's  i 
tng  is  to  take  it  away.  Hence,  if  a  man  close  with  Christ  to  n^ 
move  horror,  not  sin,  and  so  lias  not  closed  with  him  for  his  hoi 
ncss,  you  never  closed  with  Christ  for  the  end  of  his  coming,  t 
for  his,  but  only  fur  your  own  ends  ;  and  so  it  is  not  him,  but  Iv 

2  Cor.  ii.  15.  The  gospel  is  "asavor  to  them  that  pBrish,"  ■ . 
of  death  to  death.  O,  consider  of  these  things  if  it  he  not  thai 
1  John  V.  11,  12.  Ha»t  thou  the  Son  for  thy  portion?  dS 
thou  see  his  glory  full  of  grace  to  accept  and  sanctify  thee,  thoM 
hast  life.  If  not  the  Son,  but  only  something  from  him,  O,  death, 
and  not  life  !  The  bonds  of  death,  not  life,  are  upon  thee,  which 
no  creature  can  unloose,  unless  the  Lord  come  to  thy  gmv&^ida 
and  unloose  thee.  '^ 


A 


TH£  TEN   YmOINS.  135 

9 

Section  VIIL 

Utib,  Of  Exhort,  To  close  with  the  person  of  the  Lord  Je- 
siu.    Yoa  will  think  this  is  not  a  right  course  thus  to  do.     We 
Cfto  not  do  it     Ajm.  Yet  the  gospel  has  commands  and  entreaties 
wherewith  Christ's  Spirit  goes  to  the  elect,  and  if  you  could  see 
Christ  in  the  ministry  of  man,  you  should  feel  it,  and  hence  we 
look  it  should  be  so.     And,  besides,  saints  that  have  faith  and 
power  are  quickened  by  the  voice  of  the  Son  of  Grod.     Con- 
sider, therefore, —  .    ^v 

I.  All  men  are  fallen  into  a  bottomless  gulf  of  misery  and 
sin,  though  once  righteous.     Hence  Grod*s  truth  having  said, 
^  He  that  sins  shall  die."     Hence  justice  comes  out  to  do  execu- 
tioD,  and  when  the  neck  of  all  men  thus  lies  on  the  block,  yet 
mercy  pities,  and  saith,  O,  spare,  save  !     Satisfy  me,  saith  jus- 
tice, then  I  wilL     Hence  mercy  sends  forth  a  Son,  when  no  men 
nor  angels  could  help ;  and  he  takes  flesh,  takes  all  their  sin, 
fulfills  all  righteousness,  bears  their  sorrows,  and  by  ^'  one  offer- 
ing perfects  forever  them  that  are  sanctified ; "  and,  having  done 
this,  is  now  at  the  right  hand  of  Grod  in  the  glory  of  his  Father, 
all  creatures  subject  to  him,  all  excellencies  being  met  together 
in  him.    So  that  now  he  is  the  delight  of  Grod,  the  joy  of  heaven  ;>/ 
so  that  whatsoever  thou  canst  want,  or  losest,  if  thou  hadst  him, 
thou  shalt  find  it  in  him  ;  and  also  whatever  he  can  do  for  thee, 
in  his  time  thou  shalt  receive  it  from  him.     Deut.  xxxiii.  26,  21), 
^  WTio  is  like  the  Grod  of  Jeshurun  ?  " 

2.  Now,  there  is  a  universal  offer  to  all  people  where  the 
gospel  comes.  Enemies  are  entreated  to  be  reconciled ;  for 
though  he  has  not  died  for  all,  yet  now  being  King,  such  is  his 
excellency,  that  he  is  worthy  of  all.  Hence  commands  all  to 
receive  him ;  and  if  this  be  a  condemning  sin  to  reject  him,  it  is 
then  a  ooomiand  lies  upon  you  to  receive  him,  and  the  founda- 
tion of  this  offer  is  your  wants  and  miseries.  You  are  dead,  O, 
come  to  him,  therefore,  for  life;  weak,  guilty,  blind,  O,  there^ 
fore,  oome  to  him  for  pardon,  peace,  and  life.  Not  fullness, 
nothing  bat  emptiness  is  the  ground  of  this  offer.   Jcr.  iii.  22. 

3.  Hence  there  is  nothing  on  Cod's  part,  nor  yet  on  your  part, 
that  can  keep  you  from  him.  No  sins,  no  wants,  unless  it  be 
your  wilL  Matt  xxiii.  37.  Therefore,  now,  whoever  will  shall 
have  him,  let  him  take  him.  Rev.  xxii.  17.  There  be  two  at'ts 
of  the  will,  election  and  resolution  ;  I  must  have  him,  which,  if 
you  will,  nothing  that  ever  thou  didst  or  canst  do  can  please  the 
Father  so  much;  so  that  he  will,  1.  Adopt  thee  to  be  his  son. 
John  L  12.     As  tf  contra,     2.  Thou  shalt  enrich  thyself  with  a 


greater  bleseing  than  it'  heaven  and  earlh  and  all  glonr  was  pnti 
0  Lhy  hand,  a&  th<!  Lord  biinself  is  better  than  all ;  and  henoe  I 
M  thine,  ever  thiDc ;  none  shall  pull  tliee  out  of  his  hand. 
2  Pet.  i.  o.  And  it  shall  rejoice  the  heart  of  Christ  himself  ii 
heaven,  when,  as  hia  bride,  thou  givest  to  him  th;  good  witL 
Is.  Ixii.  5.  And  if  you  do  not  kiss  the  Son,  he  wiU  be  ungiy. 
Fa.  ii.  And  God  knows  whether  now  the  last  word,  the  last 
nfier,  ib  to  be  made  to  thee. 
'       Ob/rct.  2.  But  I  find  such  sins  in  me,  that,  till  thej*  are  gone^ ! 

Am.  Then  you  will  first  remove  sin,  and  after  receive  ChriaL  J 
First  be  your  own  saviours,  and  then  make  him  luiother;  yoa 
fihuU  never  do  il.  O,  I'lose  with  bim  to  take  sin  away  ;  because 
Mck,  therefore  receive  bim. 

Object.  2,  But  I  have  no  will ;  my  heart  is  endeared  U 
Alii.  Tlierefore  resign  up  thyself  to  him  to  give  thee  a  will, 
(put  it  into  his  hand,  as  bad  as  it  ia  ;  this  is  spouse-like,)  and  to 
take  away  that  will  to  sin,  so  thou  shalt  have  him ;  "  I  am  my 
beloved's,  he  is  mine."     For  the  Father  looks  to  the  law,  aiid 
saith,  Sinner,  if  thou  believe,  thou  shalt  be  saved.     Now,  lie 
under  the  Spirit,  and  you  are  where  you  should  be ;  resist  here, 
you  resist  the  Holy  Ghost.     O,  but  sin  is  dear.     Consider,  1. 
What  good  did  it  ever  do  thee  ?     3.  Has  Christ  shed  bis  blood) 
or  110  ?     If  not,  0,  the  wrath  of  God  is  to  come.     If  he  hae,  0, 
wilt  Iliou  offer  ibis  wrong  to  his  blood,  thai  a  lust  shall  be  dearer 
than  it ;  thy  bloody  knives  dearer  thnn  the  life,  and  death,  and 
mercy  of  a  Son?     O,  therefore,  if  any  soul  has  any  lust  dear,  I 
beseeeh  you,  by  all  the  bitter  sorrows  of  Christ,  not  to  reject  s 
jgreat  salvation. 
f       Object.  3.  But  must  I  receive  Christ  with  my  own  strengUi?'^ 
;       .M9.  No,  you  con  not,  nor  ought  not;  but  if  the  Lord  puWl 
strength  iu  thee,  put  it  forth.     Many  followed  Christ  for  l0BTe%'1 
hut  none  that  ever  came  to  bim  for  himself  that  ever  ha  p  * 
away.     Ps.  Ixxxi.  11-ia,  "I  showed  much  love,  but  they  wM 
none  of  me.     O  tbat  they  had  hearkened ! "     At  this  i 
God  may  give  thee  a  heart. 

Object.  4.  But  I  shall  never  get  mj  sins  removed  that  I  ^mL^ 
which,  I  think,  can  not  stand  with  grace.  j 

AuM.  God's  promise  and  reason  is  cross  to  thy  fears.  If  ^ 
sou,  all  things  afeo,  tliough  many  years  hence.  Rom.  viii.  8 
If  not  by  receiving,  is  it  by  rejecting  that  thou  shall  attmn  ll 
end  ?  It  U  true,  ibou  baat  fallen  oil'  by  thy  siu  from  Christ,  &  _ 
cause  iby  fulls  have  made  tliee  full  off  by  unbelief  from  hiHl 
and  made  ibee  say.  Either  I  do  nol  believe,  or  the  Lord  inta 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  137 

no  good  to  me.     You  have  had  no  strength,  because  not  satisfied 
with  meat. 
Object,  5.  But  I  may  presame. 

An$,  Is  it  presumption  to  honor  Christ,  and  to  have  him  hon- 
ored in  thee  ?     No.     Dost  thou  think,  if  the  Lord  shall,  after  all 
tiij  sins,  and  in  the  midst  of  all  thy  miseries,  give  thee  Christ, 
siudl  he  not  be  honored  by  this  ?    Yes ;  who  can  ever  have  such 
cause  to  love  him  as  I  ?    Shall  not  thy  receiving  of  him  by  faith 
honor  him?     Yes.   Rom.  iv.  20.     Canst  thou  dishonor  him  so 
much  as  by  rejecting  him  ?     When  he  has  laid  down  his  life, 
showed  his  love,  offers  himself;  now  to  reject  him,  it  is  to  offer 
greatest  contempt  to  him  and  his  love  that  can  be.     Hence  can 
Toa  honor  him  so  much  as  by  this  ?     Do  never  so  much  without 
him,  he  is  unsatisfied ;  do  this,  he  is  well  pleased.     Nay,  af\er 
all  thy  sins,  yet  he  saith,  ^*  Return  to  me."     Nay,  nothing  else  is 
such  a  means  to  honor  him,  by  doing  for  him.     If  so,  grant  thou 
art  vile,  unworthy,  poor,  yet  for  the  honor  of  the  Lord  Jesus  do 
it,  who  is  but  little  honored  in  the  world,  and  stand  out  no  longer. 
Thus  receive  him,  and  then  know  it,  you  are  sons,  and  rejoice  in 
it,  and  do  it  now,  while  the  Spirit  is  upon  thee,  and  remember 
now  not  to  change.  Jer.  ii.  11.     As  women,  O,  I  would  not 
change.     See  how  happy  are  thy  joys.     But,  Lord,  who  has 
believed  our  report? 

Quest,  How  may  the  soul  come  to  close  with  the  person  of 
the  Lord  Jesus  ? 

Ans.  1.  Before  any  man  close,  i.  e.,  see  and  say  he  doth  close 
with  the  Lord  as  his  own,  he  must  feel  a  want  of  the  Lord  and 
his  presence,  not  only  of  his  comforting,  but  of  his  holy  pres- 
ence ;  for  some  people  there  be  that  never  felt  a  wMit  of  Christ 
at  all ;  they  are  great  and  grievous  sinners,  but  they  trust  to 
Christ,  and  though  he  kill  them,  yet  they  will  trust  to  him ; 
others  are  in  misery,  and  they  feel  a  want  of  redemption,  and 
hence  close  with  Christ  for  that.  Ps.  Ixxvii.  35.  Others  are  in 
horror,  and  know  not  what  to  do,  and  they  feel  a  want  of  the 
comfortd  of  Christ,  and  hence  close  with  Christ  for  that ;  and  if 
they  find  it,  they  depart  from  Christ  by  looseness  of  life,  if  not 
by  despair  of  heart,  as  Saul.  1  Sam.  xxviii.,  "  God  answers  me 
not  by  Urim,"  etc.  Others  feel  a  want  of  some  righteousness 
from  Christ,  the  having  of  which  sup|K)rts  and  sustains  them 
without  Christ,  till  with  the  prodigal,  when  all  is  spent,  then 
they  think  of  bread  at  home,  and  the  want  of  whicli  makes  them 
to  have  less  esteem  of,  and  desire  after,  Christ,  but  they  are  full 
of  objections  against  the  thoughts  of  closing  with  him,  but  hence 
they  cloee  with  Christ  for  that.     Others  there  are  that  feel  a  want 

12» 


138 


o? 


I 


of  ihe  Lord  himself,  and  hence  close  with  him  for  himself;  i 
that  let  a  man  have  all  hleasings  in  llie  worM,  the  purity  of  o 
dinaDces,  never  so  many  elapscri,  and  droppings  of  divine  light)  f 
and  life  and  comfort  in  these  ordinances,  tliat  he  wonders  the 
Lord  should  be  so  good  to  hira.  yet  he  ehall  find  (if  right)  hit 
80ul  sefimlj  unquiet  and  unsatialied  till  he  has  the  Lord  him- 
self/As the  savor  of  meat  makes  a  man  that  wanta  it  cry  th« 
more  aller  ii,  long  the  more  for  it,  so  the  savor  and  sweet  of  all 
creatures,  nil  ordinances,  all  duties,  do  not  slay,  but  stir  up  the 
Boul  lo  seek  Christ  wlien  he  is  himself.  Jer,  1.  i,  "  They  shall 
seek  the  Lord  weeping."  Hence  first  they  felt  a  want  of  him. 
''The  fiiU  lioul  loathes  the  honeycomb."  Let  the  Lord  be  never 
BO  Bweet,  let  him  do  them  uever  ao  much  good,  the  more  good 
he  doth  ihera,  the  less  they  regard  him.  Jer.  ii.  6,  "  They  eud 
not,  Where  is  the  Lord  ?  "  Therefore  that  soul  that  truly  clo»- 
eth  with  Ihe  Lord  must  first  feel  a  want  of  the  Lord,  and  say 
these  ordinances  are  not  bread,  these  creatures  are  not  bread,  all 
these  parts,  gifts,  duties  are  not  bread  ;  bran,  not  bread.  All  tld* 
savor,  this  sweetness,  it  is  not  bread.  Ilcnce  I  perish  for  want  of 
bread.  I  have  creatures,  ordinances,  affections,  comforts,  dutiee, 
but,  O,  no  Christ.  Like  the  prodigal.  Luke  xv.  1 7.  O,  therelbre, 
do  not  only  see,  but  feel,  the  want  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  you  that  never 
had  him  yet ;  nay,  you  thai  have  hira,  you  can  not  have  more  of 
him,  but  by  feeling  more  the  want  of  him.  O,  it  was  a  marvelotu 
expression  of  Moses,  when  the  Lord  began  to  be  weary  of  their 
company,  (Exod.  xsxiii.  15,)  "If  thou  goest  not  with  us,  carry  us 
not  up  hence ; "  i.  e.,  let  us  ralher  die  than  live  without  thee.  Merj, 
when  Christ  was  crucified,  the  carcass  of  the  Lord  was  gone,  she 
sat  there  weeping;  O,  much  more  for  the  Lord  himself.  It  is 
observed  by  some  for  the  saddest  spectacle,  to  see  a  desert  town. 
O,  what  is  it  to  see  a  desert  heart,  where  no  Christ  inhabits  ?  (^ 
a  city,  and  no  inhabitants  ?  And  henco  it  is  Rome's  curse  to  be 
made  "  a  habitation  of  devils ; "  so  here.  What  is  hell  but  this,  to 
see  not  Abraham,  but  to  t^cc  Christ  afar  off,  and  thyself  shut  out? 
It  may  be  it  is  no  sorrow  now,  but  it  will  be.  It  is  a  sad  thins 
to  see  a  man  "  rise  up  early,  go  to  bed  late,  eat  the  bread  <a 
carefulness,"  and  yet  gain  nothing.  Phil.  i.  21,  This  is  very 
end.  Christ  is  our  gain  ;  all  the  creatures  you  liavc,  meana  yoHu 
use,  duties  you  do,  comforts  you  receive,  they  are  not  gain  ; 
the  more  (rod  docs  for  lliee,  the  more  thou  losest,  if  do  G 
because  now  thou  art  full  by  this  means.  O,  therefore,  get'j 
heart  sensible  of  the  want  of  the  Lord.  Think  there  is  a  Chr"'" 
whose  glory  is  the  amazement  of  heaven,  but,  O,  I  see  him  n 
Happy  forever  arc  they  that  have  him  ;  but,  O,  I  have  him  ] 


^^^^^^p  THE  TEN    VlRGINa.  139 

Tonr  tinngrr  bellies  can  not  want  bread  ;  if  they  do,  they  are 
never  quiet  till  llicy  liave  il.  Is  the  Iiord  no  better?  Lord, 
gnitit  this  contempt  be  not  revenged  with  Bpiritual  plagues  I 
Some  of  Tou  know  Dot  your  want,olhefs  feel  it  not, you  can  live 
without  liim :  irorse  thaii  Saul,  he  went  to  Urim,  and  lamented 
in  greftt  distress,  "  He  answers  me  not '. "  O,  you  feel  no  distress, 
bemuse  of  tbiii,  I  hove  him  not!  Nay,  worse  than  Dives,  that 
begged,  O,  a  drop  of  "  wali?r  to  cool  my  tongiie  " !  Wliy  cry  not 
TOU,  O,  the  Lord  Christ  to  comfort  my  heart !  Why  is  not  all 
(his  fullness  longed  for  ?  O,  therefore,  let  nothing  else  comfort, 
and  let  nolbiog  discourage,  hat  make  this  use  of  all,  O,  I  want 
bim. 

2.  To  the  right  closing  with  his  person,  this  is  also  required, 
lo  taste  the  bitlemess  of  sin,  as  the  greatest  evil  j  else  a  man  '. 
will  never  close  with  ChrisI,  for  his  holiness  in  him,  and  from 
bim  as  the  greatest  good.  For  we  told  you  tliat  that  is  the  right 
cloaiDg  with  Christ  for  himself,  when  it  is  for  his  holiness.  For 
ask  A  wborish  heart  what  beauty  he  sees  in  the  person  of  Christ, 
he  wiU,  after  he  has  looked  over  his  kingdom,  his  righteousness, 
all  hia  works,  see  a  beauty  in  them,  because  they  do  serve  hia 
tarn  lo  eomfort  him  only.  Ask  a  virgin,  he  will  see  his  happi- 
ness in  all ;  but  that  which  makes  the  Lord  amiable,  is  his  holi- 
ness, which  is  in  him,  to  make  hina  holy  loo )  as  in  marriage,  it 
is  personaJ  beauty  draws  the  heart.  And  hence  I  have  thought 
il  reason,  that  he  loves  bretliren,  for  a  little  grace  will  love  Ohnat 
much  more.  Hence,  if  a  man  feuls  not  the  want  of  Christ,  the 
bitterness  of  sin,  as  bis  greatest  evil,  he  will  never  see  nor 
admire  Clirist's.  beauty,  mucii  less  close  with  it.  Hence,  (Joha 
rvi.  9.)  "  coavincetb  the  world  of  sin,  because  they  believe  not 
in  me,"  i.  e-,  of  that  ckielly.  "  0,  these  wrongs  done  against  the 
Lord  I "  Why  not  of  wrath  and  hoU  ?  O,  sin  is  the  evil,  and 
then  it  appears  exceeding  evil,  when  not  against  God  simply,  but 
B^nst  a  Son.  "Saul,  why  pera«cutcst  thou  me?"  Acts  ix. 
Why?  Did  he  not  give  in  lusts  and  self-confldence  ?  Tes,  but 
in  all  these  he  saw  he  persecuted  Christ.  And  after  saddest 
March.  I  have  feared  the  want  of  this  is  the  great  cause  of  all  a 
man's  closing  omiM  with  Christ.  I  would  but  ask,  Where  was 
Jadss's  wound  ?  Was  it  resting  in  a  Pharisaical  righteousness 
without  Clirist?  Without  Christ;  no,  for  lie  forsook  all  and  fol- 
lowed Cbrisl.  Was  it  want  of  profession  of  him.  preaching  for 
him  ?  No.  Was  it  for  want  of  communion  with  him  ?  No :  one 
sin  he  lived  in,  he  had  bis  bag.  And  hence,  when  many  went 
from  him,  he  stuck  lo  him.  Jolm  vi.  Judas  still  cleaves  to  him ; 
yi«  even  then  Christ  calls  him  a  devil,  which,  if  ever  he  had 


^m  atnr  oil. 

K  will  rec 

^H  thta  gooi 


140  THE    PARABLt    OF 

tasted  the  bitterness  of,  lie  would  not  hnve  lived  in,  nor  died 
desperatelj,  some  tlunk  unpardonably,  without  Christ,  and  so 
sin  more  against  him.  Let  any  man  living  sliow  me  how  he  am 
close  with  Clirist,  mid  yet  love  one  sin.  I  will  be  his  bondman, 
that  can  say,  I  close. with  Christ  as  my  husband,  and  yet  I  love 
my  whore  too.  Let  any  man  living  close  with  Christ,  and  keep 
his  sin,  or  hide  hb  sin,  or  let  it  he  hid,  his  closing  with  Cbrltt 
will  hm^en  him  in  liis  bio,  and  so  he  shall  die  without  Christ  in 
his  sins,  as  it  is  writ.  Eiod.  xxi.  2-1.  As  it  was  with  Joab,  who 
fled  to  the  horns  of  the  altar,  so  it  is  with  many  men;  they 
sin,  and  confess,  and  sin  under  all  laws.  Why  ?  They  fly  to 
Christ,  and  this  emboldens  them,  Iiardens  them.  Why?  Becsose 
they  never  tasted  the  Wtterness  of  sin.  I  know  a  man's  sin  may 
be  crucified  before  it  is  mortified,  as  it  may  be  buried  ailer  it  is 
dead.  O,  therefore,  I  beseech  you,  look  to  this,  you  fail  not 
here.  Many  of  you  arc  troubled  ;  O,  take  heed  of  being  com- 
forted until  you  get  the  Lord  to  do  this  for  you,  or  unless  yoo 
depend  upon  the  Lord  for  this  in  his  time.  Some  apply  comfort 
when  they  see  no  good.  I  dare  not  to  myself  or  others.  0, 
therefore,  imagine  thou  didst  hear  the  Lord  speaking,  Why  dost 
thou  persecute  me  ?  Why  is  a  man  so  grieved  at  any  thing  that 
crosEes  himself?  Because  a  man  loves  liimself,  because  be 
thinks  his  good  lies  there  most.  O,  see  thy  good  more  in  Christ 
than  in  thyself.  Acts  ix.  4.  O  mc!  me  in  whom  all  good  is! 
O,  to  persecute  him  I  Two  men  here,  and  one  is  in  horror  and 
the  other  not-     O,  it  is  because  God  sets  it  on.     So  here. 

S.  Make  the  Lord  Jesus  present  with  you,  and  see  Mm  really 
before  you,  and  see  him  willing  to  give  himself  unto  you,  even 
to  thee  in  particular.  Those  that  give  themselves  in  marriage 
separate  lliemselves  from  all  company,  and  get  alone  together, 
and  give  themselves  one  unto  another;  so  sever  thyself  from  all 
the  world,  and  set  the  Lord  really  before  thee,  as  David,  (Ps, 
xvi.  8.)  and  so  close  one  with  another.  For  two  thin^  keep 
from  Christ.     Either, — 

FiriU  They  care  not  for  him,  and  the  cause  is,  they  e 
him  not  present,  only  have  a  notion  and  report  of  him. 

Seconalt/.  They  dare  not  close  with  him,  because  they  fear  % 
is  not  wilUng  to  close  with  them,  with  others,  not  witli  me.  Sitm 
that  all  the  Scriptures  they  read,  all  (he  promises  they  hear,  anfl 
very  sweet,  hut  tliey  look  on  them  as  spoken  to  others  "" 
(Acts  ii.  39,)  "  For  the  promise  is  made  lo  you,  and  to  thM 
afar  oil'."  Be  thou  never  so  far  olf,  if  thou  receivest  him,  1" 
e  thee.  Luke  ii.  14.  "Good  will  to  men."  O, « 
this  good  will  in  the  Lord  to  have  thee  receive  him,  though  tl 


I 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  141 

hagt  no  money,  nay,  because  dead  and  vile,  nay,  because  not  seiv- 
«iMe.  Rev.  iii.  17,  18.  O,  wonderful !  Because  senseless  of  mis- 
ery, therefore  close  with  him.  1.  Is  it  not  his  command  it  should 
be  so  ?  2.  Is  it  not  a  sin  to  reject  him  ?  Will  he  not  be  angry 
with  thee  to  reject  him  ?  3.  Are  not  his  conditions  easy,  so  as 
he  has  andertaJcen  to  do  all  that  which  thou  sayest  thou  canst 
not?  Why  wilt  not?  1.  O,  if  I  were  a  child,  a  son  in  covenant, 
I  would ;  but,  because  otherwise,  hence  I  dare  not.  Ans.  John 
L  12.  Receive  him;  he  will  make  thee  a  son.  2.  O,  but  my 
wants  are  many.  Ans,  Receive  him ;  he  will  make  thee  rich. 
Is.  Iv.  1-3.  O,  but  I  find  my  heart  endeared  to  creatures. 
Ans.  1  John  v.  4,  "  This  is  the  victory  that  overcometh  the 
world,  even  your  faith."  4.  O,  but  I  shall  fall  back.  Ans.  No. 
Jer.  iii.  22,  ^  Return,  and  he  will  heal  thy  backsliding."  5.  O, 
but  I  shall  never  be  able  to  do  any  thing.  Ans.  Tes ;  close  with 
him,  and  thou  shalt  6.  O,  but  I  am  very  vile  before  the  Lord 
after  all  I  do.  Ans.  Tet  (£ph.  v.  25-27)  he  will  make  thee 
amiable  ;  only  receive  him,  set  thy  heart  on  him  alone.  Now, 
do  you  think  he  bears  a  good  will  toward  you  ?  Can  you  deny 
it  ?  Shall  not  this  overcome  thee,  that  the  Lord  of  glory  should 
fall  in  love  with  thee,  and  bear  good  will  to  thee,  a  leper,  and 
that  canst  do  nothing  for  him,  and  yet  for  all  this  ?  O,  this  will 
draw  thee  !  Ps.  xxxvi.  6,  7,  "  O,  how  great  is  thy  loving  kind- 
ness ! "  This  makes  a  heart  of  steel  to  yield.  Jer.  xxxi.  1-3. 
(J.  this  will  cut  you  in  hell ;  O,  hard  hearts  that  despised  such  . 
grace. 

4.  If  the  serious  thoughts  of  this  do  not  draw  thee,  at  least 
not  so  fully,  look  up  to  the  Lord  to  reveal  himself  unto  thee,  to  be 
thine.  For,  as  no  man  can  take  Christ  until  Grod  gives  him,  so  no 
man  can  say  he  is  his,  until  tlie  Lord  shows  him  that  he  is  his. 
And  as  the  creature  can  not  resist,  but  take  when  the  Ix)rd 
pivcH,  M)  it  can  not  but  see  the  Lord  when  he  reveals  himself 
a<  indeed  he  is.  And  look  to  see  him  to  be  yours  by  some 
promise  ;  for  there  is  a  seeing  Christ,  mine  is  gresit  fulgor  with- 
out the  light  of  a  promise,  and  spirit  in  it.  Is  Christ  yours  ? 
Yes,  I  see  it.  How  ?  by  any  word  or  promise  ?  No,  this  is  a 
delusion.  The  other  is  by  promise,  and  that  opened  in  the^f^s- 
pel.  Eph.  i.  13, 14.  He  saith  not  in  whom,  after  ye  were  sealed, 
you  beUeved,  but  e  contra.  And  how  believed  ?  By  hearing  the 
gospel.  Hence  saints  return  to  this.  Ps.  li.  8.  "  Let  me  hear 
the  voice."  1  Pet.  ii.  l-.*3.  And  this  is  that  which  has  knit  the 
hearts  of  saints  to  Christ  forever,  '*  O,  thou  hast  the  words  of 
life."  For  there  is  a  voice  of  love  to  the  saints  engraven  in  allj 
mercies,  in  all  afflictions,  in  all  God*s  leadings  of  them,  though* 


I 


149  TUE    PARABLE    OF 

it  be  in  a  wilderness ;  but,  beloved,  only  the  Word  csui  tell  tae 
the  meaning  of  tliese  words  of  love.  So  there  ia  love  of  Clirifl 
revealed  according  to  a  promise,  not  liy  it,  and  love  spoken  in 
mercies,  but  tlie  Word  inhirpreta  them  and  clears  them  to  be  no 
delusions  ;  I  mean  the  Spirit  there.  Tliis  is  judged  to  be  a  good 
answer  to  Papists,  Who  shall  be  judge  of  controversies  ?  We 
''^swer,  that  which  shall  be  Judge  at  the  last  day  must  be  judge 
now  ;  but  so,  Bom.  ii.  1 6  ;  John  Jtii.  48.  So  whether  does  God'i 
Spirit  seal,  or  the  devil  delude  ?  It  is  a  great  controversy  if 
you  have  not  a  word  to  see  God's  love  by,  but  tliink  you  luive 
a  way  to  eee  it  without ;  thid  Word  shall  judge  you.  0.  look, 
therefore,  for  the  Lord  by  a  word  to  do  it,  and  say,  "  Speak, 
Ixjrd  1 "  and  if  by  word,  look  not  for  it  without  a  work  on  your  own 
hearu  Some  Christians  have  rested  with  a  work  wittiout  Christ, 
which  is  abominable ;  but  after  a.  man  is  in  Christ,  not  to  Jndga 
by  the  work,  is  Urst  not  to  judge  from  a  word.  For  though 
there  is  a  word  which  nuiy  give  a  man  dependence  on  Christ, 
without  feeling  any  work,  nay,  when  he  feels  none,  as  absolute 
promises,  yet  no  word  giving  assurance,  but  that  which  is  made 
to  some  work  ;  "  He  that  believetli,  or  ia  poor  in  spirit"  etc.,  till 
that  work  is  seen,  has  no  aseuranco  from  tliat  promise.  Tell 
him  God  has  promised  to  pour  "clean  water."  Ezek.  xxivi. 
Yes,  for  some,  not  for  me.  Secondly.  It  is  not  to  judge  by  the 
Spirit,  for  the  apostle  makes  the  earnest  of  the  Spirit  to  be  tlie 
seal ;  DOW  earnest  is  part  of  the  money  bargained  for,  the  be- 
ginning of  Leaven,  of  the  light  and  life  of  it.  lie  that  sees  not 
the  Lord  ia  his  by  that,  sees  no  God  his  at  all.  O,  therefore,  do 
not  look  for  a  Spirit  without  a  word  to  reveal,  nor  a  word  to 
reveal  without  seeing  and  feeling  of  some  work  first.  I  thank 
the  Lord  I  do  but  pity  those  that  think  otherwise.  If  a  sheep 
of  Christ,  0,  wander  noL  Object.  But  I  have  wait«d  long  for 
this.  Aiu.  True ;  therefore  more  ncied  to  wait  still ;  it  may  be 
now  it  is  not  fur  off.  Object.  O,  but  it  may  be  he  will  not,  if  I 
knew  that  I  could  be  quiet.  Ana.  Down,  proud  heart.  O,  take 
heed  of  that  pride  ;  art  not  worthy  never  to  hear  a  voice  from 
Grod  ?  Be  silent,  then,  and  humble,  and  now  hear  what  the 
Lord  will  say  ;  he  apeais  in  a  still  voice.  Ps,  Ixxatv.  8.  Do  as 
thej  in  that  psalm  did :  thou  hast  done  thus  and  thus ;  O,  hear 
us,  turn  Ds,  and  then  lie  still  and  listen.  O,  do  thus,  ebe  yoo 
make  God  a  liar  if  the  word  comes,  (1  John  v.  10,  11,)  and 
when  thou  hast  him,  O,  change  him  not. 

Firtt.  'What  dost  want,  and  where  wilt  go  to  find,  is  but  theraiB 
any  creatures,  and  all  the  excellencies  of  ihem,  are  there,  t 
time  of  trouble  he  will  be  instead  of  all,  and  also  bless  a 


s  but  tlierat^ 
liere,  and  V^^ 
•.S6  alL       ^1 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  143 

Secondly.  Dost  want  grace  to  honor  a  Grod  ?  it  is  in  him  the 

/bllness  of  it     Dost  want  God  and  his  love  ?  thou  hast  him,  and 

oow  aO  his  love,  his  care,  his  wisdom  is  thine.     O,  wonder  at  th j 

Jo(  and  portion,  and  saj.  Lord,  I  have  enough.     Thus  much  of  the 

/ir4  doctrine. 


CHAPTER    XI. 

SliOWIKG  THAT  TRUE  BEUEVERS  DO  WITH  HOPE  EXPECT  THE 

SECOND  COMINO  OF  CHRIST. 

Section  I. 

Now,  thej  go  forth  bj  JBbpe  and  Desire  of  him  and  his 
coming. 

Observ.  2.  That  the  church  and  people  of  God,  after  they  are 
tiulj  espoused  to  Christ,  and  made  in  any  measure  ready  for 
Christ,  they  now  are  no  \pnrft  gf  i\^\^  wnrlH^  but  look  out  of  it, 
and  verily  expect  the  second  coming,  anS"  glorious  appearing  of 
Christ. 

It  is  true,  they  look  for  his  coming  and  company  at  the  last 
period  of  their  hfe,  but  this  they  look  upon  but  as  their  welcome 
in  the  way,  until  the  last  trumpet  shall  blow,  and  that  they  shall 
meet  the  Lord  in  the  clouds  coming  in  the  air,  (1  Thess.  iv.  18,) 
which  is  the  last  and  chief  time  of  coming  they  look  out  for. 
Tlie  five  wise  virgins  did  here  verily  look  for  him ;  the  five 
foolish  seemingly  did  so  too.  That  look  as  it  was  before  the  first 
c-oming  of  Christ,  all  their  thoughts  and  searchings  of  heart 
were  after  the  day,  and  time,  and  glory  of  it  1  Pet.  i.  10,  11. 
And  the  nearer  his  coming  was,  the  more  ardently  was  he  ex- 
pected. Hence  such  flocking  to  John's  ministry.  Hence  Simeon 
waited  long  for  the  **  consolation  of  Israel."  So  the  espoused 
an<i  beloved  of  the  Lord  look  out  for  his  coming  now.  He  has 
left  them  as  orphans  in  this  world.  He  has  divers  of  his  elect 
yet  to  bring  home,  and  enemies  to  put  under  his  feet,  and  then 
they  know  he  will  come,  and  this  day  they  look  for ;  as  Christ 
expects  it  Heb.  x.  13.     By  the  same  Spirit  they  look  for  it. 

This  is  that  which  Christ  so  oft  presses  on  his  disciples,  fore- 
seeing the  slumbers  of  the  world,  to  be  ever  watching  for  his 
f^econd  coming,  and  hence  these  alone  are  accounted  blessed. 
Luke  xii.  37,  38.  That  let  Christ  come  at  any  watch,  O,  blessed ! 
The  duration  of  the  world  from  the  first  to  the  second  coming 
\a  but  as  it  were  a  night  divided  into  several  watches  ;  the  saints 
are  the  watchmen  of 'the  world,  who,  you  know,  look  for  daylight  ;j 


I 


144  TBE   PARA.BLE   OF 

tbougb  it  be  long,  it  is  but  a  night ;  it  will  be  morning.  Alf 
the  rest  are  like  bird*  at  their  chaff.  And  lience  he 
them  the  rei»on  of  the  luieertainty  of  his  coming,  makes  thi»^ 
the  end  of  it.  The;  are  evangelical  commands  wilh  whicb 
I  there  goes  a  power.  Look  through  all  the  primitiTe  chnrch  in 
I  the  golden  age,  they  hod  all  this  stamp.  1  Cor.  i.  7,  "  Waiting." 
iThess.  i.  10,"To  wait  for  Christ  from  heaven."  Nay,  Heb.ii. 
28,  He  professeth  those  only  may  know  the  fruit  of  hia  fire!  J 
coming,  diot  "  now  look  for  him."  | 


Section  U. 
Reason  1.  Because  they  really  foresee  and  see  such  a  day. 
3  Pet.  iii.  3,  4,  ''  In  the  last  days  shall  come  scofiers,  saying, 
Where  is  the  promise  of  his  coming?  All  things  are  as  ihey 
were  ; "  and  henee  live  in  their  lusts,  die  in  their  own  dun^.  and 
never  look  for  it  But  these  foresee  it  really,  and  hence  look 
for  iL  Men  that  live  on  land,  and  love  the  emoke  of  their  own 
chimneys,  never  look  out  to  other  coasts  and  countries,  or  to  a 
strange  land ;  but  seamen  that  are  bound  for  a  voyage,  and  have 
a  pilot  with  them  that  has  seen  the  coast,  that  is  it  they  look  for ; 
80  men  that  live  in  this  world,  and  are  well  hbre,  look  not  after 
Chmt  nor  hia  coming  ;  but  they  have  a  pilot,  a  Spirit  to  show 
them,  this  day,  this  coast,  and  are  bound  for  anollier  world  ;  ihcy 
look  out  for  this,  they  sec  it  two  ways. 

1.  By  tlie  eye  of  faith  in  the  promise,  (2  Pet.  iii.  13 ;)  and 
this  makes  the  soul  see  it  when  all  things  seem  to  be  against  it, 
and  hence  expects  it ;  for  that  is  the  difference  between  faith  and 
hope.  Faith  doses  with  Christ,  and  all  the  glory  of  Christ,  in 
tiie  promises,  as  present  i  hope  hence  steps  forth,  and  lays  hold 
upon  the  performance  itself,  as  absent.  Fuith  entertains  tha 
promise  as  a  faithful  messenger,  and  sees  that  this  message 
true  i  hope  runs  out  of  doors,  and  leaves  it  with  faith,  and  Tool 
for  the  Lord  himself.  Heb.  xi.  1. 
1  2.  By  the  light  of  glory  in  the  thing  itself;  for  saints  do  not 
'  only  see  things  in  letters  anjLsylIablca_and  "prds,  but  see  things 
v  as  they  are  in  themselves.  The  wicltea  see '  Ihe  word,  sin,  and 
Christ,  and  heaven,  (and  in  seeing  see  not,)  but  not  the  things 
themselves.  Now,  the  glorious  coming  of  Christ  being  a  thing 
to  come,  yet  to  be  done,  liow  do  they  see  it  but  by  rejwrt  ?  Yes  ; 
they  have  the  Spirit  of  glory,  whidi  Spirit  "  shows  them  things 
to  come,  (John  xvi,  13,)  which  eye  liaih  not  seen."  Thai  loot 
as  their  head  Christ  sees  this  day  as  it  shall  be,  and  his  apg 
hensions  are  not  false,  but  as  he  conceives  of  this  day 


)ia 

^ 


THE  TEN    VIRGINS.  145 

be ;  60  the  saints,  bj  the  same  Spirit,  see  it  before  it  comes,  and 
are  not  mistaken  about  it,  though  it  be  very  darkly,  jet  some- 
times, when  the  Spirit  of  God  is  not  overclouded,  thej  see 
Bore  evidentlj.     For  this  is  the  great  plague  of  the  wicked, 
they  see  nothing  as  it  is,  and  in  hell  thej  see  how  they  have 
been  deceived.     So  this  is  the  happiness  of  saints,  that  though 
thej  see  things  darklj,  jet  they  see  things  truly,  the  Spirit  cre- 
ating glorious  impressions  on  the  mind  of  thmgs  as  thej  are. 
Thej  know  things  that  the  e je  sees  not  as  thej  are.     That  look, 
as  Abraham  (John  viiL  56)  '^  saw  Christ's  daj  and  was  gladT^ 
though  afar  c^,  so  the  saints,  bj  the  same  Spirit.    Now,  whj 
did  Noah  make  his  ark,  and  look  for  a  flood  ?    Because  he  saw 
it  reallj.     Did  not  others  ?    No ;  it  is  said  ''  thej  knew  not." 
Matt  xxiv.  38,  39.    Never  knew  <<  till  the  flood  came."    The 
Lord  made  it  not  known.    Noah  did,  the  other  did  not.    Hence 
the  saints  can  not  but  look  for  it. 

£ea$oH  2.  Because  thej  see  nothing  else  in  this  w<Hrld  wor^^ 
looking  after ;  no,  not  for  the  present   For  if  a  man  sees  the  day 
of  the  Lord,  jet  has  some  prej  in  his  eje,  in  this  world,  and  his 
game  before  him,  he  will  follow  his  hunting  to  catch  his  venison, . 
though  he  comes  too  late  for  the  blessing.     But  the  Lord  makes 
his  people  to  see  nothing  in  the  world  worth  the  hawking  ojj 
catching. 

1.  Thej  see  the  glorj  of  another  daj,  another  world,  and  this 
puts  out  the  glorj  of  this,  and  hence  makes  them  look  for  that ; 
and  hence,  when  Christ  would  comfort  his  disciples,  he  promises 
nothing  here,  but  tells  them,  ^  In  mj  Father^s  house  are  manj 
mansions.  I  go  to  prepare  a  place,  and  I  will  come  to  jou 
again."  John  ziv.  1-3.  And  hence  thej,  seeing  this  to  be 
enough,  look  for  this. 

2.  Thej  see  an  end  of  all  these  things,  of  all  the  glorj  of 
them,  and  that  these  summer  swallows  will  take  their  wings,  and 
flj  awaj  in  greatest  extremities.  Hence  thej  look  to  eternal 
things,  the  Lord  and  his  coming.  2  Cor.  iv.  18,  ^^  We  look  not 
at  temporal  things." 

3.  Thej  find  the  Lord  crossing  them  of  what  thej  lo<^  for  in 
this  world,  sometimes  of  outward  comforts,  and  sometimes  of  the 
performance  of  spiritual  promises.  And  when  God  thus  ^'  hedg- 
eth  their  waj  with  thorns,"  then  thej  '^  think  of  their  first  hus- 
band." Look  as  it  was  with  Abraham.  Heb.  xL  13.  You  know 
strangers,  when  their  waj  is  uncomfortable,  ever  and  anon  look 
for  their  home.  Abraliam  was  heir  of  the  world,  jet  he  sojourns 
as  a  stranger  in  it,  in  tents,  '*  because  he  looks  for  a  cit j."  Verse 
10.     So  here,  saints  are  the  heirs  of  all  creatures,  jet  the  Lord 

VOL.  n.  13 


14t  THE   PAKABLE   OP 

makes  them  slmngere  here,  and  bence  Ihey  look  for  aomething  the. 
The  thiogs  God  haa  promised  Ui  his  people  are  very  great,  bul 
not  accomplished.  Why  ?  Because  full  accomplish nienl  is  left 
till  the  last  day,  that  hope  may  wait,  and  that  we  may  live  by 
faith.  God  has  promised  to  "  lake  away  all  tears."  O,  wel- 
come that  day !  This  world  can  not  do  it,  and  the  Lord  here 
will  not.  1  Cor.  iv.  19,  "  If  our  hope  were  ouly  here,  we  were 
most  miserable ." 

Season  3,  Because  they  see  and  are  sensible  of  their  deliTer- 
ance  from  wrath  to  eome.  There  has  been  much  wrath  in 
the  world  seen,  but  yet  the  great  wratb  is  to  come.  What 
that  is  they  sec  ;  what  their  escape  from  it  is  they  see.  Henca 
iLey  look  for  Christ,  when  he  shall  appear  like  the  rising  giin,  and 
like  a  bridegroom  from  his  chamber  to  comfort  them.     1  Tbess. 

1i.  10.  For  tlie  devils  look  for  this  day,  and  natural  men;  bul 
Beeing  wrath,  wish  themselves  under  rocks  and  mountains,  and 
Beck  to  smother  it ;  but  saints,  seeing  themselves  delivered,  hence 
calmly  look  for  it.  The  sense  of  this  love  mokes  them  say,  0, 
when  will  lie  come,  that  I  may  "  see  him  wilh  these  eyes  "  I 
They  fear  not  (for  why  should  they  ?)  the  terror  of  this  day. 

Jiecuon  i.  Because  the  Lord  has  given  unlo  them  the  fir^t 
fruits  of  glory,  and  of  that  day  of  glory ;  hence  lliey  look  and 
wait  for  it.  You  know  the  first  fruits  were  part  of  the  whole 
vintage ;  hence  they  gave  thanks  for  all,  because  tliey  then 
looked  for  aU.  Eiod.  xxiii.  Rom.  viii.  23,  "  We,  having  the  first 
GraiU  of  the  Spirit,  wait  for  the  adoption."  Look  aa  it  is  with 
the  wicked,  that  have  rejected  Christ  and  counted  his  blood  a 
common  thing,  and  done  despite  to  God's  Spirit,  there  remains 
DOlhing  "  but  a  fearful  looking  for  of  vengeance ; "  so  here 
B  contra.  Rom.  v.  1-5,"  Being  justified  by  faith,"  now,  1.  "  Peace 
with  God ; "  2.  Access  by  Christ  to  God  ;  3.  Standing  in  thatj 
grace;  4.  Shedding  of  love,  hence  not  only  hope,  but  "glorjU 
in  hope  of  the  glory  of  God."  There  is  none  espoused  li'B 
Christ  but  taste  this  love,  feel  the  warmth  of  his  fellowship,  fM  ' 
the  abundance  of  his  love,  but  it  is  but  in  a  little  measure,  in  the 
first  fruits ;  hence  they  look  for  and  expect  the  rest  at  hia  com- 
ing. They  are  sometimes  full  of  fears  —  What  if  shut  out  at 
last?  But  when  they  feel  the  first  fruila  of  glory  at  that  day, 
now  they  verily  look  for  his  coming.  Christ  died,  we  know  ;  but 
it  was  not  possible  for  him  to  he  held  long,  and  hence  rose  again, 
and  then  looked  for  glory,  and  then  was  taken  up  to  glory.  So 
here ;  the  saints  lie  dead  in  the  grave  of  sins  and  fears  ;  but  it  tl 
not  possible  for  them  ever  lo  he  held  here;  hence, 
"  risen  with  Christ,"    they  look  upon  "  things  above,"  and  ■ 


THE  TEN   VraGINS.  147 

waiting  for  glory,  and  at  last  are  taken  to  glory  with  himself. 

Look  as  Jacob  (Gen.  xlix.  18)  said,  "  My  soul  waiteth  for  thy 

salvation ; "  when  the  stakes  and  pins  of  this  fleshly  tabernacle 

are  loosing.     So  the  Lord  is  loosing  him  from  the  excellency  of 

this  world  ;  though  he  minds  other  things,  yet  he  recalls  himself 

—  "  My  soul  waiteth  for  thy  salvation,  O  Lord." 

Section  III. 

Ui€  1.  Hence  let  all  flesh  take  notice  that  there  is  such  a 
time  and  day  and  coming  of  the  Lord  Jesus.  This  was  the 
apo6tle*8  argument  to  prove  a  resurrection,  "  Christ  is  risen  ;  ^ 
and  to  prove  this,  and  so  a  resurrection  from  the  dead  at  Christ's 
coming,  "  else  your  faith  is  vain  ; "  i.  e.,  expectation  of  him  vain. 
1  Cor.  XV.  14,  17.  Men  think  it  easy  to  believe  a  resurrection 
and  a  second  coming  of  Christ  for  that  end;  but  a  hoverly 
slight  work  is  quickly  done,  and  a  hoverly  faith  is  quickly 
wrought.  But  when  a  man  comes  to  look  considerably,  is  thei  _ 
such  a  day  indeed  ?  Is  there  now  in  the  third  heavens  that  will 
fire  this  whole  worlds  and  gather  his  saints  to  his  glory  ?  Now, 
it  is  very  hard.  It  is  usual  with  Satan  to  pierce  with  extremi- 
ties, that  when  they  do  begin,  indeed,  to  close  with  Christ,  and 
receive  comfort  from  him,  to  smite  them  with  thoughts.  Is  there 
a  Christ,  and  is  there  such  a  time  of  coming  ?  Now,  of  all  the 
arguments  to  convince  and  persuade,  methinks  there  is  none  like 
this,  viz. :  That  there  be  a  generation  of  men  in  the  world  that 
verily  look  for  this  day  and  see  it,  and  have  the  first  fruits  and 
beginnings  of  it  already  in  their  souls.  A  number  of  people 
that  once  never  minded  it ;  heard  of  it,  but  looked  not  for  iUj 
now  to  see  it ;  flesh  and  blood  could  not,  Satan  would  not  reveaf 
it ;  hence  God,  that  can  not  lie,  has  shown  it  unto  them,  so  as 
they  are  in  a  manner  eye-witnesses  of  it ;  men  will  believe  eye- 
witnesses of  any  thing,  especially  if  many.  Such  are^the  es- 
poused of  the  Lord  in  all  ages.  **  The  things  which  we  have 
heard  and  seen  we  speak." 

Object.  But  may  they  not  be  deceived,  and  conceit  that  which 
is  not? 

Ant.  True ;  but  divine  revelation  of  any  truth,  that  can  not 
deceive  ;  for  thb  is  no  fancy  of  the  head,  nor  delusion  of  Satan. 
Now,  this  is  a  secret  the  Spirit  makes  known. 

1 .  In  that  it  fills  the  mind  and  feeds  the  heart  with  it,  that  it 
carries  unto  Grod  with  wonderment  of  blessing  him  that  ever  he 
saw  this.  Fancies  can  not  feed,  especially  in  greatest  agonies. 
Now,  they  choose  misery  on  this  ground,  rather  than  present 
peace  here.     Ueb.  xi.  35,  ^  Not  accepting  deliverance." 


Im  the  parable  op 

2.  In  timt  it  works  efTects  cro!^  to  nature  ;  cay,  to  all  a  man's 
lusts  in  tbem.  Noah  foresaw  a  flood  nigh,  but  he  might  be  de- 
ceived. No ;  it  13  sniil  "  he  feared,"  kept  close  to  God,  and  it 
came ;  so  here. 

8,  This  light  whereby  Ihey  see  is  not  only  sweet  and  glorious, 
and  cross  to  heart  and  lusts,  but  il  is  sudden,  as  with  Paul,  when 
going  to  persecute  ;  "suddenly  there  fell  a  great  light,"  and  so 
he  saw  Christ.  So  when  a  man  goes  on  in  his  sin,  and  sudden- 
ly the  Lord  reveals  this,  and  that  by  a  word,  (else  it  is  a  deceit,) 
which  all  angels  could  not  do  before,  so  as  to  see  it,  and  th^ 
none  can  reveal  it  as  he  sees  it,  especially  to  bring  this  light  oat 
of  darkness,  this  must  be  miraculous  power,  and  no  dream. 
But  what  do  I  speak  of  seeing  ?  They  feel  the  beginnings  of 
it  in  the  first  fruits  of  it. 

For  two  great  things  shall  be  at  that  day. 
1  Fir»t.  Then  all  the  elect  shall  liave  their  fill  of  love. 
I  Secondly.  Triumph  in  Christ  when  in  the  clouds  with  1 
j  Have  they  not  the  first  here  ?  Rom.  v.  5.  The  feeling  of 
which  love  can  not  be  a  fancy,  for  it  can  not  conceive  of  it  noC, 
hold  it  This  is  an  infinite  love,  and  that  in  the  midst  of  th^- 
fence  of  sin  and  death.  That  many  times  they  are  even  fain  tQ> 
flay,  Lord,  hold.  2.  Triumph,  Rom.  v.  3.  And  that  in  afflio- 
tioQS,  which  Diake  them  by  experience  so  to  feel  God  in  part, 
that  they  triumph  for  time  to  come.  It  is  true,  at  times,  they 
look  down  the  tower,  and  so  tremble  ;  but  while  they  look  up 
hero,  then  they  triumph,  having  access  to  the  grace  wherein 
they  stand  ;  so,  then,  look  for  it,  there  shall  be  such  a  day  aud 
Buch  a  coming  of  Christ.  Rev.  i.  7.  The  Father  has  exalted 
the  Son  to  inelfable  gtoij.  But,  Lord,  who  sees  him  as  these, 
in  his  glory,  or  to  come  forth  out  of  liis  glory  ?  It  is  but  table- 
talk.  But,  ''  Behold,  he  comes,  and  every  eye  shall  see  him." 
The  Lord  pities  you,  and  holds  out  bowels  of  love  and  faith; 
0,  recede  me  I  0,  cast  away  those  bloody  knives  that  have 
pierced  me ;  and  sends  his  Spirit,  like  his  hand,  to  draw  yoa. 
But,  0,  do  you  not  kick  his  bowels,  do  you  not  pierce  his  hands 
and  feet  daily?  And  when  you  liave  done,  no  tears.  But  he 
comes,  and  you  that  pierce  him  shall  see  him,  etc.  Consider  rf 
it,  therefore,  you  that  doubt  of  this,  you  that  think  not  of  tlii%.  ] 
and  hence  live  and  lie  in  your  lusts,  and  despise  him.  —  •  ■■' 
he  comes  I 

Section  IV. 

Utt  2.     Hence  behold  the  happiness  of  all  them  that  be  . 
poufled  to  the  Lord  Jesus,  in  tliat  their  hopes  are  laid  up 


■hH 


THB   TEN   YIRGINS.  149 

•nollier  world,  at  the  day  of  the  coining  of  the  Lord  Jesus. 
1  Cor.  XV.  19,  "  K  we  had  hope  only  in  this  life,  we  were  of  all 
men  most  miserable."  Because  none  so  foolish  or  so  sensible  of 
misery  as  they ;  but  our  hopes  stretch  to  another  life,  to  the 
secood  coming  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  Suppose  a  man  had 
all  the  crowns  of  the  world  cast  at  his  feet,  but  at  last  to  be 
dragged  before  the  judgment  seat  of  Christ,  and  there  to  stand 
quakkig,  what  should  he  be  the  better  ?  What  though  saints 
have  all  the  miseries  in  this  world ;  but,  at  last,  "  with  these 
eyes  they  shall  see  the  Lord,'*  and  stand  triumphing  before  him, 
aiid  have  a  real  sight  and  certain  expectation  of  this.  What 
people  in  the  world  so  great  as  these  ! 

Quest  What  do  they  wait  and  expect  for  ? 

Ans.  Great  things,  which  may  astonish  the  whole  creation. 

1.  They  look  for  him  "  to  change  their  vile  bodies,"  thai  this 
their  husband^  at  the  marriage  day,  should  take  away  these  rags, 
*^  and  make  them  like  unto  his  glorious  body,"  brighter  than  the 
sun  ;  so  that  burn  them,  cut  them  to  pieces,  they  see  Christ  loves 
both,  and  hence  holds  sword  and  soul  in  one  hand,  and  scabbard 
in  another,  etc. 

2.  They  expect  he  should  take  away  all  their  sins,  and  make 
them  like  unto  himself ;  engrave  on  their  souls  perfectly  his  own 
image,  that  their  enemies  they  feel  now,  they  look  they  "  shall 
never  see  them  more."  1  John  iii.  2.  And  as  no  evil  like  it,  no 
mercy  like  this ;  and  no  evil  to  saints  like  this,  that  yet  they 
should  grieve  the  heart  of  such  a  husband. 

3.  They  look  that  he  should  take  away  all  sorrows  and  tears 
from  them  ;  for  this  the  Lord  promiseth,  and  begins  to  execute 
now,  but  it  shall  be  perfected  then.  Is.  xxv.  8,  9.  And  hence 
called  "the  times  of  refreshing."  Acts  iii.  19,  20.  It  is  true, 
the  spouse  and  church  is  now  sorrowful  to  the  very  heart  many 
times,  but  there  is  a  time  coming  that  they  shall  never  sorrow 
more. 

4.  They  look  that  he  should  take  away  all  shame  from  them. 
For  no  people  in  the  world  is  laden  with  more  calumnies  and 
reproaches  by  the  wicked  and  by  hypocrites,  and  hard  speeches 
from  the  godly,  and  they  doubt  whether  they  be  sons  or  no. 
Now,  then  the  whole  world  shall  see  they  arc  sons,  and  shall 
stand  amazed  at  them,  and  shall  not  doubt  of  it,  nor  themselves ; 
for  the  Lord  shall  proclaim  it,  and  they  shall  hear.  These  are  my 
jewels.     And  this  they  look  for.  1  John  iii.  1,  2. 

5.  They  look  for  recompense  to  all  their  "  labor  of  love "  to 
him  and  his.     Hence,  (1  Cor.  xv.  58,)  "  Knowing  your  labor  is 

13  • 


I 


150  THE   FAKABLF.   OF 

not  in  vtdn  in  tbe  Lord."  Hence  the  apostle  ofl  defers  men  for 
that  recompense  till  now.  ''  Tlie  Lord  show  mprcy  lo  the  house 
Onesiphonia  in  that  day."  2  Tim.  i.  18.  So  that  some  hi^reties 
have  thought  souls  sleep  till  then.  They  may  pray,  aud  no 
answer ;  seek  to  do  good,  and  do  none.  0,  hut  the  Lord  will 
reeoTQpeiije  them  abundanllj. 

G.  They  look  then  to  "  be  ever  willi  the  Lord."  1  Thess.  iv.  17. 
Never  to  be  parted  from  him,  never  to  live  without  him  ;  naj, 
never  to  jro  nwny  from  under  his  wing,  out  of  hie  bleeding  bosom 
of  lore  and  endless  and  unspeakable  compikosionB  any  more. 
And  being  with  him  to  see  his  glory,  and  never  »ce  the  depth 
of  it,  and  to  have  the  Lord  to  serve  them,  (Luke  xii.  37,  38,) 
and  giving  whatever  they  call  for,  and  all  this  when  thousand 
thousands  shall  at  this  time  be  <'rying  for  a  drop  of  water,  and 
am  not  get  it.  Now,  all  this  they  look  for,  and  more  too.  Which 
is,  1.  Certain.  For  ''hope  makelli  not  ashamed."  2.  Wtiicb 
fills  their  hearta  with  glory,  and  unspeakable  glory,  too ;  for  it 
mokes  it  so  clear  and  certain  that  they  have  it  all  already  ;  for 
though  absent,  hope  makes  it  oa  present.  Rom.  viii.  24.  He 
doth  not  say  we  ehall  be,  but  "  we  are  saved  by  hope."  Futh 
takes  hold  on  the  beginning,  hope  on  the  end.  O,  the  heavy 
wrath  of  God  upon  a  world  of  poor,  blind,  ignorant  men,  tluit 
have  no  hope,  no  hope  of  Christ,  no  hope  of  glory,  unless  ft 
flattering  dead  hope.  What  a  sad  thing  is  it  to  think  of  a  onm- 
ber  of  men  that  are  buried  in  the  world,  and  never  to  awaken 
until  they  see  Christ  in  the  clouds  of  heaven, 
TCnged  on  tticm  1  O,  methinks  I  see  them  falling  down  befoi* 
tho  judgment  seat,  and  crying  out,  O  that  we  had  kuown  of 
day  I  O,  alas  1  that  I  liad  hope  1  but  not  such  a  hope,  hut 
now  deceived.  0,  it  is  otherwifc  with  saints ;  they  shall 
what  they  hoped  for,  and  infinitely  more.  What  hurt  can 
do  them  ?  Let  all  the  world  come  against  them,  tlieir  hueband 
will  come,  und  will  kick  tlicm  under  his  feet.  Let  them  load 
thorn  with  rcproauhes,  fill  their  hearts  with  sorrows  and  their 
eyes  with  tears,  their  Lord's  coming  will  comlorl  them. 
Satan  tempt,  and  a  Father  hide  his  face,  behold,  tlie  Lord 
eth,  that  shall  deliver  and  redeem  them.  O,  see  their  blessed' 
nees,  and  let  it  draw  you  to  make  up  the  match  with  Christ,  that 
never  did  it  yet.  He  has  been  wooing  of  you,  longing  for  you, 
wid  you  wooing  of  him  again.  Lord,  lake  me.  What  hinders 
you,  then,  from  striking  the  match  and  concluding  it  ?  To  give 
thyself  this  day  to  him,  and  take  him  only,  rejoice  ii  '  ' 
when  nothing  thou  dost  can  be  ao  pleasing  to  him. 


foi*  J 

ndum 

si 

i 


in  him  onl^H 
Andn^H 


THE  TEN  VIBGIKS.  151 

joa  may  look  and  believe  what  one  day  jou  shall  to  jour  com- 
Ibrt  feeL  And  account  yourselves  most  wretched  creatures  un- 
til the  Lord  be  pleased  to  espouse  jou  to  hunself. 

Section  V. 

Uke  3.  Of  Examp,  Or  hence  learn  what  to  judge  of  those 
that  never  look  for  the  coming  and  company  of  the  Lord  Jesus. 
It  is  with  them  as  it  was  with  the  Israelites ;  when  Moses  was 
gone  into  the  mount,  and  staid  there  long,  the  people  made 
their  calf,  and  went  to  their  feasting  and  rejoicing.  So  the  Lord 
Jesus  being  gone  for  the  Spirit  of  life,  and  to  prepare  a  place 
of  glory,  it  being  now  long  since,  they  make  idols  of  their  jew- 
els, and  of  their  own  excellencies,  and  of  whatsoever  is  glorious  in 
their  eyes  in  this  world.  Or,  as  Christ  compares  the  secure 
world,  "  As  it  was  in  the  days  of  Noah,  so  shall  it  be  ;  *'  or  as  in 
the  days  of  Lot,  when  they  never  knew  nor  looked  for  it,  though 
told  of  it,  so  it  is  with  them.  Do  you  think  these  are  espoused 
to  Christ,  or  made  ready  for  Christ,  whose  glorious  appearing  is 
never,  or  seldom,  or  the  least  thing  in  their  thoughts,  and  are 
hr  from  seeing  and  setting  it  before  their  eyes  ? 

Now,  because  if  you  ask  men,  Do  you  look  for  such  a  time  to 
see  the  world  consumed,  and  the  Lord  revealed,  and  your  glory 
with  him  ?  every  one  will  say,  Yes,  because  indeed  they  have 
a  dead  hope.     I  shall,  therefore,  give  discoveries  of  it. 

Sign  1.  Those  whose  hearts  prize  (though  their  heads  do  not) 
and  whose  eyes  are  dazzled  with  the  withering  glory  of  this 
world.  When  men  lie  under  (not  for  a  fit,  for  Christ's  disciples 
wondered  at  the  beauty  of  the  temple)  a  great  mistake  of  all 
things  here,  and  put  that  good  in  them  which  is  not,  and  that 
worth  upon  them  which  they  ought  not  For  he  on  whose  eyes 
the  Son  of  glory  has  risen,  and  looks  for  the  glory  which  shall 
be  revealed,  looks  upon  a  dunghill  world  as  strangers  do  upon 
their  inn,  and  as  travelers  do  on  their  tents,  make  a  shift  to  rub 
it  out  for  a  time ;  but,  O,  home !  O,  "  that  glory  that  shall  be 
revealed."  Heb.  xi.  13.  They  were  strangers,  because  "  they 
looked  for  a  city."  Nay,  they  look  upon  these  things  as  Grod 
and  Christ  judge  of  them,  (for  they  have  Christ's  mind,  1  Cor. 
ii.  15.)  which  stand  for  ciphers  in  the  Lord's  book.  Nay,  they 
look  upon  the  very  miseries  of  this  world,  for  Christ,  greater 
treasures  than  the  happiness  of  it,  and  hence  choose  it,  and  ac- 
count their  scars  their  crown,  their  shame  their  glory,  tlieir 
losses  their  gain,  their  sorrows  their  joys  ;  as  Heb.  xi.  25,  2G. 
Moses  chose  to  suffer,  and  esteemed  Christ's  reproach  his  glory. 


I 


LGod'  ia  I 
dcpendf 


Anil  why  ?  "  He  had  an  eye  lo  the  recompense  of  reward," 
and  saw  the  God  invmible.  And,  (2  Cor.  iv.  17,)  "It  works  an 
exceeding  weiglil  of  glory."  Look  as  it  is  with  a  man  that  is 
bom  to  great  liopes  of  a  crown  and  kingdom,  and  therefore 
brought  up  not  in  (he  country,  but  in  the  court ;  let  a  poor  man 
offer  him  his  thatched  house-,  and  promise  him.  if  tie  wilt  come 
and  live  with  him,  and  serve  liim  in  liis  patched  clothes,  what 
will  he  say  ?  No  ;  begone  to  your  friends  ;  1  am  a  greater  man 
than  you  can  make  me.  So  here  ;  a  man  that  is  bom  and  be- 
gotten to  n  lively  hope  of  a  crown  now,  by  the  resurrection  of 
Christ,  and  brought  up  under  the  wings  and  care  of  Clirist,  to 
the  hopes  of  a  better  world.  Ofi'er  never  eo  much,  promise 
never  so  fair,  I  am  greater  than  all  tlie  world  cim  make  me.  I 
must  not  have  if  I  love  Christ,  and  I  can  not  have  if  he  loves 
me,  both  ;  and  hence  looks  lo  honor  then,  and  peace  and  glory 
then.  C^l.  iii>  1—3.  It  is  clear,  then,  thou  lookest  upon  the  things 
of  the  world  as  great  things.  O,  to  have  such  honor ;  such 
estate  ;  so  many  cows  and  goats  j  bo  much  ground  paled  in ; 
many  plows  ;  lands,  and  oxen  fit  to  labor ;  so  much  gain  to 
come  in  every  year  ;  and  such  parts  and  gifts  and  duties  to 
me  a  name,  to  live  before  the  best  men,  and  to  be  good  signs 
comfort  me)  of  the  favor  of  God.  This  is  a  goodly  thing 
very  hopes  heat  and  warm  the  heart. 

1.  If  you  do  not  feel  pangs  in  parting  with  a  friend, — a  b 
blessing  so  dear, — you  are  not  dead  yet  to  it,  nor  rben  to  a  livc^- 
hope  of  better  things. 

i.  lie  that  does  not  prize  the  evila  of  the  world  more  than 
the  good  in  it,  his  eyes  arc  dazzled  with  it.     If  the  life  of  the 
world  be  not  death  to  thee,  the  comfort  of  the  world  sorrow  to 
thee,  O,  they  draw  thy  heart  from  God  j  hence  colled  "  lying 
vanities."     Look  as  it  is  with  a  king  or  master  Ihat  gives  talents 
to  use,  they  cast  them  by,  and  fish  for  themselves  j  they  look 
not  for  the  coming  of  their  masters.     So  the  Lord  gives  you  his 
ordinances,  and  word  to  use  for  tiim,  and  you  scramble  for  your- 
selves, to  enrich,  and  honor,  and  comfort  yourselves ;  you  1( 
not  for  the  Lord.     Factors  that  go  far  for  wealth,  they  will : 
bring  home  Ftone  and  rubbish,  which  tliey  know  will  not  go 
their  own  country  j  hence  other  things  that  are  of  more  price  he 
spends  his  time  for ;  so  here.     What  do  you  do,  you  that  cat  the 
bread  of  carefulness,  sell  your  commodities  dear,  and  set  your 
buyers  on  tenter  hooks  ?     I  look  ro  be  rich.     You  that  can  speak 
well,  and  have  parts,  and  profess  fmrly  ;  but  go  into  your  closetOf 
God  ia  neglected  in  your  hearts,  your  constant  union  to  "' 
dependence  on    Christ,  approving  yourselves  to  Christ, 


:  SO 

i 

tWa 


THE  TEN  VIRGINS.  153 

miuntaiiied.    I  would  fain  be  honored.    You  are  come  far  from 
your  own  country.     Why  did  you  depart  thence  ?     To  be  free 
from  trouble.     And  now  here,  what  stay  you  for  ?     0,  for  ease. 
Will  these  coins  go,  and  be  taken  at  the  last  day  ?    No,  you  lookj 
not  for  that. 

Sign  2.  They  that  say  they  look  for  Christ,  but  do  not  re- 
joice abundantly  in  hope  of  this  time.  Sometimes  the  hopes  of 
Gvod's  people  begin  to  die,  and  then  comfortless  ;  but,  when  their 
hopes  are  up  and  stirring,  and  not  wounded  by  some  sin,  or  sleep- 
ing, there  is  a  double  joy  that  now  they  have.  / 

1.  This  alone  comforts  them  and  fills  them.  John  xiv.  1-3. 
So  that  they  wonder  at  God,  though  they  have  never  so  little 
here,  to  have  these  blessings  now,  and  everlasting  glory,  endless 
compassions  and  mercy  at  that  day.  John  xvi.  22. 

2.  This  joy  is  glorious  joy,  highest  comfort.  Rom.  v.  3,  "  We 
glory  in  hope  of  the  glory  of  God."  Disgraced,  but  then  honored ; 
hated  of  men,  but  then  loved  of  Christ ;  poor,  but  then  enriched ; 
miserable,  but  then  blessed ;  empty,  but  then  filled ;  fatherless, 
friendless,  but  then  glorified.  O,  I  tell  you,  miseries  thus  consid- 
ered are  sweet !  Can  it  be  otherwise  ?  Now  you  say  you  hope 
and  look  for  this  dav.  Where  is  your  comfort  of  it  ?  Where  is 
your  glory  in  it?  Acts  i.  11,  12,  compared  with  Luke  xxiv.  52. 
So  thou  wilt  be  in  the  temple,  nay,  in  the  fields,  rejoicing  and  bless- 
ing the  Lord,  that  ever  he  should  intend  to  set  thee  at  his  right 
hsnd  at  that  great  day  of  his  coming.  No  man  but  has  something 
to  joy  his  heart  It  is  "  com  and  wine  and  oil,"  and  not  "  the 
light  of  God's  countenance,"  at  this  day.  It  is  a  sign  they  never 
look  for.     Do  the  world  rejoice  in  their  hopes,  and  not  saints  ? 

Si^  3.  They  that  content  themselves  with  any  measure  of 
holiness  and  grace,  they  look  not  for  Christ's  coming  and  com- 
pany. For  saints  that  do  look  for  him,  though  they  have  not 
that  holiness  and  grace  they  would  have,  yet  they  rest  not  satis- 
fied with  any  measure.  1  John  iii.  3,  ^^  He  that  hath  this  hope 
purifieth  himself,  as  he  is  pure."  Christ  finds  us  not  lovely,  but 
makes  us  lovely,  by  putting  on  his  own  garments,  imprinting  his 
own  image.  Hence  saints  content  not  themselves  with  any 
dressings,  till  made  glorious,  and  so  fit  for  fellowship  with  that 
spouse.  And  when  the  soul  sees  this  love  to  be  a  son,  and  then 
to  be  proclaimed  heir,  O,  this  makes  them  set  Clirist  himself  as 
the  pattern  to  walk  by.     Now,  therefore,  — 

1.  When  men  shall  think  this  way  is  bad,  and  another  way 
of  some  saints  is  good,  and  take  a  copy  of  his  course  from  them, 
and  now  is  well,  this  only  is  to  be  pure  as  man  is  pure. 

2.  When  a  man  leaves  not  till  he  gets  such  a  measure  of  faith 


I 


154  Tni;   PARABLE   OF 

tuid  gmce,  and  non  nlien  he  has  got  this,  contents  himself  with 
this  as  a  goud  sign  he  shall  be  saved,  he  looks  not  for  ChmU 
Or,— 

3.  When  men  are  heaTily  laden  vith  sin,  then  close  willi 
Christ,  and  then  are  coniforteil,  sealed,  and  have  joy  that  fills 
them,  and  now  tlie  work  is  done,  and  they  are  past  grace,  and 
post  repentance  and  dailj  cleansing,  now  they  study  not  what  to 
do  for  Christ,  that  neither  family  nor  church  where  they  live  are 
the  better  for  them, 

4.  When  men  shall  not  content  themselves  with  any  measure, 
but  wish  they  liad  more,  if  grace  would  grow  while  ihcy  tell 
clocks  and  sit  idle,  and  bo  God  must  do  all ;  but  do  not  purge 
ihemselyes,  and  make  work  of  it,  (indeed  saints  purge  not  them- 
selves of  Ihemseh-es,  for  dirty  hands  will  never  wash  a  foul 
face,)  but  by  a  daily  dependence  on,  and  importunity  of  faith, 
sigh  aAer  the  Lord  to  do  it ;  verily,  if  not  thus,  you  look  not 
for  Christ.  2  Pet.  iii.  11,  12,  14.  For  if  you  did,  you  would 
say  antl  think,  If  to  be  like  him  be  my  glory,.  O,  then,  that  I 
might  have  it  now.  Sons  that  are  bom  to  their  hopes  in  tho 
court  will  go  in  the  court  fashion ;  beggars  that  are  bom  and 
brought  up  under  hedges  content  themselves  with  their  n^  ;  so 
here.  Lord,  where  is  this  Spirit  ?  especially  even  among  us. 
There  is  scarce  any  but  either  would  be  honest,  and  then  hopea 
God  accepts  of  his  will,  or  will  be  so,  and  then  it  is  ao  much  as 
will  credit  or  comfort  him.  I^ord,  where  is  the  man  that  mouma 
for  this  ?  How  far  short  he  falls  of  Christ,  of  Christ's  prayers, 
Christ's  speeches,  Christ's  meekness,  but  only  patches  up  his 
comforts  with  some  ends  of  gold  and  silver,  and  shreds  of  hon- 
esty! He  hath  heard  others  teach  and  preach,  and  gets  some 
shreds  of  knowledge ;  thence  he  sees  what  others  are,  and  dt^ 
and  gets  somewhat  to  be  like  them  :  have  we  not  cried  out.  Men 
are  too  good  to  be  better  in  our  own  hnd  ?  And  unless  a  few 
under  affliction  or  temptgtion.  who  is  ?  I  pray  God  such  a  race 
co^e  not  over  hither,  wiere  God  looks  you  should  gel  a  higher 
pilch  i  put  olf  your  wilderness  shoes,  get  those  sins  removed  that 

'  provoked  God  there ;  or  else,  besides  the  misery  of  a  heaii 
brand  u|>on  thee,  thou  dost  not  look  for  Christ,  and  therefore  art 

leither  not  espoused,  or  asleep  ;  and  shalt,  if  not  by  the  word,  by 

Ithe  terror  of  God  be  dreadfully  awakened.  0,  Neie  England f 
JVew  England.'  that  art  now  making  a  conquest  of  the  world,. 

'  and  seekest  for  the  spoil  of  it  to  onrith  thyself,  to  recover  thy 

losses,  aiid  iheretbre  makeet  a  truce  with  thy  distempers  for  ■' 

time,  and  dost  not  purge  thyself  us  Christ  is  pure,  1  dsje  not  yefc 

\  tail  thee  what  Christ  Jesus  tios  lo  say  unto  Ihee!     Therefora 


( 


THE  TEN   VIRGUCS.  155 

think  of  this  that  do  not,  he  shall  come  in  a  time  when  thou 
lookest  not  for  him,  and  hast  not  so  much  grace  as  tlie  five  foolish 
Tirgins  had.  This  b  the  frame  of  men  and  professors ;  what  ar§j 
they?  Thej  were  troubled,  humiliation  is  past;  they  have 
locked  for  salvation  by  Christ,  that  is  past ;  they  have  been 
comforted,  that  is  past.  What  holiness?  They  will  pray  in 
families,  keep  company  with  saints,  get  into  Christ,  receive  sac- 
raments, that  is  past.  What  lack  they  yet  ?  Many  wants ; 
but  God  accepts  their  desires  for  what  they  want,  and  that  is 
their  circle  of  honesty  now,  and  there  rest.  Is  it  not  thus  ?  Is 
this  to  purge  like  Christ  ?  K  any  have  more,  O,  wonder  at  the 
Lord  for  it.     But  if  not,  O,  thy  doom. 

Section  VI. 

U$e  4.  O,  you  espoused  and  beloved  of  the  Lord,  look  for  his 
coming,  look  for  his  company :  the  world  looks  not  for  him,  be- 
cause they  care  not ;  "  Will  you  also  depart  ?  "  Has  he  called 
thee  as  a  virgin  forsaken,  and  not  comforted,  as  a  wife  of  youth, 
and  given  himself  to  thee,  and  given  thee  a  heart  to  give  content 
to  him,  and  thyself  to  him  in  lieu  of  his  love,  life  and  all,  if  it 
mitrht  do  him  any  good  ?  O,  are  you  bom  to  so  great  hopes, 
and  are  they  not  worth  the  looking  after  ?  God  forbid.  Do  this, 
therefore,  especially  in  these  five  cases.  ** 

1.  In  case  of  strangeness  felt  between  thy  soul  and  Christ^ 
It  may  be  thou  thinkest,  O,  he  that  has  saved,  preserved  me, 
called  me  when  I  never  looked  after  him,  redeemed  me  when  a 
captive,  every  moment  pardons  me,  a  daily  friend  unto  me,  that 
hail  given  me  ordinances,  given  me  the  comfort  of  them.  But, 
O,  yet  to  be  a  stranger  to  him,  this  cuts.  O,  look  now  for  this 
time.  1  Thess.  iv.  17,  18.  When  thou  shalt  see  that  bleeding 
heart,  that  has  loved  thee  above  all  princes  and  angels,  that  body 
in  the  glory  of  the  Father,  and  be  as  familiar  with  him  as  thou 
art  known.     O,  look  for  this,  for  it  shall  be  so. 

2.  In  case  God's  promises  are  not  made  good  to  thee.  For  at 
thiit  instant  a  man  believes,  he  gives  Christ  and  all  things,  all 
grace,  all  consolation,  all  glory ;  but  it  is  in  the  promise,  because 
he  would  have  them  live  by  faith  a  while  here,  as  by  sense  in 
heaven ;  and  being  wrapped  up  in  the  promise,  they  feel  it  not, 
only  plead  with  God.  llast  not  said.  Lord,  thou  wilt  sulxlue 
iniquities,  purge  me  as  gold  is  tried?  Why  then  do  I  go  child- 
less graceless  ?  No  more  grace,  no  more  Spirit,  no  better  hcurt 
for  thee  ?  O,  now  the  heart  calls  in  question  God's  promise  or 
sinks.     O,  nowy  remember  this  day,  for  the  perfect  restitution 


lite  T 

of  all  (Lings,  perfect  nc-complishnient  of  all  promises,  is  reservrf 
for  this  time.  Is.  xxv.  9.  Tlioit  pruyeet  for  mao^  fbiiigs,  but 
they  come  not;  Christ  reserves  iLe  payment  till  tliis  day.  What 
a  comfort  is  this !  What  a  sweet  speech  was  it  of  Joshua,  (Josh, 
xxiii.  14.)  "One  thing  haili  not  failed,"  when  he  had  conquei«d 
the  land.  So  then,  when  the  conquest  is  made,  to  see  all  the 
promises  made  good  to  ihee. 
ff-  3.  In  caae  of  God's  absence  or  withdrawing,  or  when  thou 
n  fectest  but  little  of  his  presence  here  in  his  providences  or  in 
I  his  ordinances,  private,  public,  and  that  in  New  England,  too. 
tIiou  host  found  one  half  hour's  time  with  the  Lord,  alone, 
.  sweeter  and  better  than  a  thousand  worlds.  0,  but  tbts  holds 
not.  Thou  maystfit  may  be,  wait  on  the  Lord  iu  his  ordinances, 
and  go  awny  with  a  sad  heart ;  O,  I  can  not  see  him,  and  canst 
not  find  out  the  cause  why  so  heavy  and  vile,  and  so  loatbeet 
thyself.  0,  now  think  of  this  day.  1  Cor.  xv.  28.  Then  God 
shall  be  "  all  in  all  i "  then  thou  shalt  have  thy  lilt  of  love,  and 
fill  of  God. 

4.  In  case  of  sorrow  for  the  uproar  of  the  world  ag^nst  God 
and  Christ,  and  the  wrongs  done  to  Christ  and  his  people ;  to 
see  Christ  crucified,  and  crying,  Spare  my  life ;  and  saying,  "  If 
you  sedk  me,  let  these  little  ones  depart;"  yet  they  are  abased, 
and  every  one  against  Christ,  aa  this  day  the  world  is  coming  to 
the  last  tit  of  madness  against  the  Lord  of  glory,  O,  now,  re- 
member and  look  for  this  day.  1  Cor.  xv.  2i>,  "  He  must  reign." 
Lord,  what  a  comfort  will  it  be  to  see  Christ  king  then  1  Men 
come  to  sec  him  king  here ;  but,  O,  what  will  it  be  when  he  shall 
come  himself,  to  see  all  secrets  open,  and  the  Lord  glorified,  in 
himself  and  people,  of  all  creatures  I  Look  for  this,  to  see  the 
great  and  last  plot  of  God  brought  to  perfection.  O,  think,  that 
is  our  day,  tbut  is  our  victory  ! 

5.  When  you  come  to  die,  and  think  of  leaving  thy  carcass 
to  rot  in  the  dust  a  long  time,  O,  think  and  look  u])on  this  day. 
«  They  that  hear  shall  live."  Why  do  I  die  ?  John  v.  28,  29, 
"  They  sliall  then  come  out  of  their  graves,"  etc.  Thus  look 
tor  Ibis. 

Motive  1.  All  creatures  look  for  this  in  a  manner.  Rom.  viii. 
S2,  23.     Nay,  Chri&t  and  saints  in  heaven  look  for  this  day,^^ 
Heb.  X.  13,  "  From  thence  expecting  till  his  enemies,"  etc.     Naj^P 
devib  look  for  it,  but  tremble.     Only  a  secnre  world,  lockeo^ 
asleep  to  their  eternal  woe,  look  not  for  il 

2.  This  will  help  you  to  ride  all  storms,  bear  all  knocks  chee 
fully.  Our  hope  is  "our  helmet,  our  ho[>e  is  our  anchor.  Ileb.  i 
19;  Epb.  vi.  17.  You  will  meet  with  them  here,  it  may  t 
before  you  die. 


THE  TSN   YIBOINB.  157 

3.  The  Lord  has  called  joa  oat  of  this  world ;  he  might  have 
left  jou  in  it,  and  given  you  jour  hope,  your  portion  here,  and 
then  woe  to  thee ;  but  he  has  called  thee  to  this  hope,  that  if 
princes  of  the  world  knew,  they  would  lay  down,  nay,  cast  their 
crowns  at  thy  feet  for  it,  and  say,  O  that  I  were  in  that  man's 
case !     Eph.  i.  18,  ^  Hope  of  his  oedling." 

4.  Hope  and  expectation  of  all  other  things  shall  fail ;  if  God 
loTes  thee,  he  will  make  you  know  what  it  is  to  forsake  your 
portion.  If  not,  they  shall  fail  you  when  you  die ;  this  shall  not ; 
h  **  niakes  not  ashamed." 

5.  Methinks  this  is  the  glory  of  a  Christian,  that  he  turns  his 
back  upon  the  worlds  and  lives  and  waits  for  the  comiug  of  the  Lord. 

6.  O,  this  will  give  Christ's  heart  full  content,  when  he  shall 
oome.  Luke  xii.  37,  **  He  will  make  thee  sit  down  to  eat,  and 
serve  thee."  The  Lord  Jesus  himself  shall  only  then  pour  out 
to  thee,  and  give  thee  whatever  thou  callest  for  ;  honor  thee,  as 
it  were,  above  himself.  When  thou  art  at  rest  in  heaven,  he 
will  be  at  work  for  thee. 

7.  If  not,  he  may  ^  oome  in  an  hour  thou  lookest  not  for  him." 
Christ  may  say  to  thee.  From  henceforth  sleep  on. 

Quest.  What  means  are  there  to  make  me  look  for  him  ? 

Ans.  1.  Get  some  promise  that  thou  mayst  believe  the  Lord 
b  thine,  else  thou  wilt  never  look  for  him ;  or  if  you  do,  you 
will  be  deceived,  for  "  hope  is  of  things  not  seen."  Nay,  com- 
monly, when  the  Lord  brings  any  man  to  his  hopes,  having  given 
him  a  promise  and  faith  to  believe  it,  the  Lord,  in  the  midway, 
seems  to  cross  his  promise.  When  the  Lord  promises  life,  glory, 
peace,  honor,  joy,  fullness,  heaven,  they  shall  then,  and  never  so 
much  before,  feel  darkness,  shame,  trouble,  sorrow,  hell.  For 
the  Lord  tries  them  by  this,  and  ^  tribulation  breeds  experience, 
and  experience  hope."  Hence  you  must  first  get  a  promise  of 
Christ  and  glory  before  you  can  hope  for  it,  or  expect  glory,  and 
then  yoa  may.  Heb.  vi.  18.  For  the  promise  will  support  hope 
when  heart,  and  strength,  and  all  shall  fail.  Nay,  it  will  expect 
contraries  out  of  contraries ;  (Gren.  xxii.  5,)  "  I  will  come  agiiin 
to  you; "  compare  with  Heb.  xi.  18,  19.  So  that  soul  that  has 
a  promise  may  say,  when  he  considers  God's  power,  and  what 
glory  he  gives  to  God  by  believing  it,  God  has  said  he  will  com- 
fort me ;  he  will  cleanse  me ;  he  will  give  me  glory.  I  will 
have  all  these  out  of  my  sorrow,  my  sin,  my  hell. 

Take  heed,  therefore,  of  two  extremes. 

Fir$t,  Of  hoping  without  a  promise ;  for  that  is  but  faith  scared 
out  of  its  wits,  when  it  comes  to  be  examined ;  1  hope  so,  and  I 
have  had  joy  and  persuasion  of  it 
VOL.  u.  14 


I 


Seeondlji.  Of  not  expecting  wben  God  gives  a  promise.  Can 
you  live  one  day  witliouL  it?  It  may  be  you  have  no  feeling 
yet.  But  Is.  xxv,  8-10.  Dost  thou  w:ut  for  the  Lord,  (i.  e, 
from  a  sense  of  emptiness,  for  all  fullness  Uiou  shall  find  in  part 
here,  and  fully  then.)  and  say,  "  Lo,  this  our  God,  we  have 
w«ted  for  him  "  ?  When  a  man's  anchor  is  strong,  and  in  good 
ground,  he  will  look  for  safety  when  in  the  harbor.  O,  thou  af- 
flicted and  tossed  with  tempests,  the  Lord  has  brought  tbee  at 
hut  to  Christ,  after  many  drivings  to  and  fro,  and  it  daspe  about 
him  according  to  a  promise  ;  if  God  cliaugelh,  then  thy  cximfort 
may  nut  be.  If  revelations  come,  I  know  they  may  deceive ; 
but  a  promise  can  not. 

2jFear  the  terror  of  the  Lord  at  this  day.  fear  parting  fiom 
lim.  I  speak  not  of  doubting,  but  the  holy  fear  of  saints ;  for 
Ithat  is  the  nature  of  fear,  it  makes  a  man  eye  the  thing  feared,/ 
as  Jacob,  when  Esau  was  meeting  of  liim.  Noah  fears,  and 
looks  to  safety  in  and  by  an  ark.  Heb.  li.  7.  Lot's  eliildren  took 
not  his  counsel ;  they  feared  not,  but  "  he  seemed  as  one  that 
mocked  to  them."  Paul  (2  Cor.  v.  10,  H)  "knew  the  terror  of 
the  LonI,"  hence  looked  for  him,  sought  to  approve  himself  unto 
him.  Men  that  fear  not  parting  with  Christ  will  never  lock  nor 
core  for  him.  And  let  it  be  a  strong  fear,  eUc  it  will  never 
>,  carry  you  above  your  cares  and  eurfcitings  of  the  world. 

Qu*mU  How  shall  I  fear  thus? 

Am.  Unless  the  Lord  put  it  into  your  heart,  none  can  i  for 

11  the  security  of  the  world  is  not  sleepy,  but  deadly.     Men  at« 

I  bound  up  as  strong  as  with  chains  of  death ;  thai,  till  thoy  feel 

I  the  misei:y,  they  can  not  fear  it  jtrongly.    O,  look  up  to  the  XiorA 

o  unchain  those  chains  of  death. 

2.  Know  the  happiness  of  them  that  shall  ever  be  with  Christ, 
what  is  the  sweetness  of  Christ's  love,  and  worth  of  it.  Imagine 
the  last  day  come,  and  all  the  dea'l  rmsed,  Christ  with  flaming 
&rt>,  all  the  wicked  on  the  led  hand,  and  then  sent  away  with, 
"  Depart,  ye  cursed  ; "  all  the  saints  on  the  right  hand,  and  then, 
O  come  I  and  when  all  is  despatched,  then  to  go  up  to  heaven ; 
and  when  gone,  there  lo  be  forever  rejoicing,  triumphing  in  the 
presence  of  God  Almighty  ;  and  now  what  it  will  be  lo  be  far 
off  from  Christ,  weeping,  never  to  be  pitied  more  !  0,  he  (hat 
was  so  full  of  pity,  no  heart  then  to  pity,  no  hand  (o  help]  I 
can  hut  only  paint  this  fire.  O  (hat  the  Lord  would  help  yoa 
here,  that  so  you  might  look  out  for  him !  Sailors  sleep  in  cahns, 
Bud  so,  it  may  he,  have  many  here  in  this  place  of  rest.  Othen  I 
of  you  lake  heed,  I  will  tell  you  your  bar.  It  may  be  n 
tales  are  brought  low  and  eimk;  when  you  see  that,  n 


rest.  Othen  ■ 
be  most  omH 
hat,  nowyot^l 


THE  TEN  YIRGIN8.  159 

^ther  look  back,  or  look  for  Lot's  accommodations,  and  such  an 
estate  as  is  lost,  it  maj  be  jou  will  spy  some  hope  of  it,  and 
then  follow  the  game,  and  never  look  out  till  jou  die.  The  Lord 
keep  joa  from  it  I  You,  then,  will  not  look  up  for  Christ's  com- 
ing at  the  last  day,  or  in  his  ordinances  here.  If  thou  dost  so, 
bad  it  not  been  better  thou  hadst  been  buried  in  the  sea,  or  left 
in  80TTOW  on  the  shore  ?  0,  take  heed,  therefore ;  look  for  the 
coining  and  company  of  Christ,  and  let  this  be  enough ;  and  be- 
cause joa  can  not  look  for  him  in  the  clouds  now,  O,  look  and 
wait  for  him  in  his  ordinances ;  and  consider  if  espoused  ones 
look  for  his  coming  then,  and  for  perfect  knowledge  of  him  and 
commonion  with  him,  then  think.  Lord,  what  a  heart  have  I, 
that  look  not  for  him  here  !  But^  Lord,  '^  who  will  believe  our 
report?" 

Thos  they  went  out  by  hope  and  expectation  of  his  coming. 
Now,  the  second  thing  follows  —  they  went  forth  with  longing 
desires  after  his  coming. 


CHAPTER  Xn. 

that  beueyers  do  long  and  desire  for  the  appearance 

and  second  coming  of  christ. 

Section  L 

Doctrine  3.  That  all  those  that  are  espoused  to  Christ,  and 
beloved  of  Christ,  they  ought  not  only  to  look  but  to  long  for 
the  coming  of,  and  their  everlasting  communion  with,  the  Lord 
Jesus  Christ ;  for  the  consummation  of  their  marriage  with  him, 
thaty  though  he  be  gone,  our  hearts  may  be  with  him  before 
oar  souls  be,^orbejOTe  our  souls  and  bodies  be  ;  that  though  we 
may  die  and  Ee^own  in  the  dust,  our  desires  may  live  and  lie 
in  heaven,  and  cry,  ^  Come,  Lord."  Now,  do  not  tliink  this 
point  true,  and  so  far  good,  if  we  could  reach  it,  but  this  is  a 
high  pitch  ;  for  you  must  long  for  it.  God  forbid  a  Christian 
espoused  to  Christ  should  plead  that  work  too  much  which  hypo- 
crites, "  the  five  foolish  virgins,"  in  their  kind,  attained  to.  See 
precedents  for  this  in  all  ages :  Abraham,  and  those  of  his  time, 
who  was  "father  of  the  faithful;  "  (Heb.  xi.  15,  10,)  "  A  better 
country,"  where  they  might  have  fellowship  with  the  Lord,  and 
•*  hence  God  is  not  ashamed,"  etc.  As  if  the  Lord  were  ashamed 
of  all  them  to  be  his  people  that  profess  themselves  so,  but  de- 
sire not  this.    In  Christ's  time,  Simeon,  (Luke  ii.  29,  with  xxv.,) 


160  1 

where  "he  wwted  for  the  consolation  of  Israel,"  etc.,  to  enjoj 
more  of  him.  la  the  apoatlea'  time,  it  is  also  that  which  Ihej 
all  felt,  (2  Cor.  v.  2,)  '■  In  this  we  groan  earnestly,"  etc.  But 
you  will  say,  It  may  be  this  was  bei^use  of  miseries,  and  want 
of  ordinances,  etc.  Therefore  see,  in  the  la^t  age  of  the  church, 
when  the  new  Jerusalem  was  built,  and  wben  peace,  and  wboi 
Christ's  face  was  seen  in  his  house,  yet  then  the  "  Spirit  and 
the  bride  say,  Come."  Hev.  xxii.  17.  They  are  the  last  breath- 
ings of  John  and  the  Spirit  in  him  :  "  Lord  Jesus,  com?  quickly." 
But  (Cant  viii.  14)  the  church  there  entreats  her  beloved  to 
"  fly  away  to  the  mounlains  of  spices,"  that  ehe  might  enjoy  him 
out  of  this  world. 


» 


Section  II. 

Reatoa  1,  Because  they  are  bound  to  love  Christ  and  hia  ap- 
pearing ;  to  love  his  looks  when  he  shall  appear  to  the  world. 
2  Tim.  iv.  8.  The  crown  of  glory  comes  as  it  were  by  suc- 
cession, not  only  to  me,  but  to  ''  all  them  that  love  his  appearing." 
Now,  can  there  be  any  love  of  him  and  his  appearing,  and  not 
BO  much  as  any  desire  after  htm  and  after  it  ?  Certainly  there 
18  no  love  ;  or,  if  there  be  any,  it  lies  languishing.  For  answerar 
ble  to  our  love  to  anjilhiug  ia-outdesire ;  wliat  we  love  only,  we 
.deaire  only ;  what  we  love  not  at  alitor  but  little,  we  desire  not 
at  all.  or  but  little  ;  so  here.  Now,  therefore,  to  question  —  may 
a  Christian  desire  it  ?  is  to  question  whether  a  Christian  ought 
to  love  the  Lord  Jesus  or  no.  We  are  bound  not  to  love  earth, 
hence  bound  to  love  Christ  and  his  fellowship  in  heaven.  "  Let 
him  be  anathema  "  that  doili  not  so. 

Reaion  2.  Because  the  Lord  Jesus  longs  for  them,  (John  xviL 
24,)  throughout  whieh  chaptef  he  prays  as  if  in  heaven  already. 
"  Hence  I  am  no  more  in  this  world,  and  where  I  am,  let  them 
be  alfio."  lie  was  on  earth,  hut  looks  on  himself  aa  in  heaven. 
That  as  it  was  with  the  high  priest,  he  carries  the  names  of  the 
twelve  tribes  on  his  heart,  "  beset  with  precious  stones,"  very 
dear  to  him,  "  into  the  holy  of  holies  ;  "  so  ChrisL  Not  tliat  he 
sees  any  beauty  in  tfaem  of  their  own  why  he  shouldjffijre  them, 
but  because  he  freely  loves  lliem,  and  dearly  To  ves  them,  as  being 
given  him  of  the  Fallier,  and  as  having  cost  him  dear;  and 
hence,  if  he  loves  them,  he  longs  for  them.  Now,  if  he  longs 
not  for  them,  ought  they  not  much  more  to  long  for  him?  Ps. 
xzvii.  8,  "  Thou  saidst,  Seek  my  lace ;  thy  face.  Lord,  will  I 
seek." 

1.  He  longs  for  thee  now  in  glory,  when  one  would  think  his 


THE  TEN  YTR6IKS.  161 

tliooghts  and  heart  should  be  swallowed  up  .with  it ;  and  shall  not 
we  long  for  him  here  in  the  valley  of  myrtle  trees,  in  misery,  on 
the  doDghill  ? 

2.  He  longs  for  thee  when  thou  hast  nothing  to  make  him  de- 
suie  thee ;  he  has  all  that  thy  heart  can  desire,  being  the  very 
bosom  delight  of  Grod  himself.  Rev.  xxii.  penult.  He  did  but 
say  he  would  come,  and  John  desires,  O,  come  !  But  doth  he 
loog  for  thee  ?  Now,  not  to  long  for  him !  If  this  love  be  not 
worth  longing  for,  truly  it  is  worth  nothing. 

Beaton  3.  Because  this  is  our  last  and  ultimate  end,  that  we 
are  made  for,  chosen  for,  bought  for,  called  for,  sealed  for,  that  at 
last  we  might  be  with  the  Lord,  and  be  made  perfect  in  one. 
2  Cor.  T.  5,  "  He  that  has  made  us  for  this  is  God,"  etc.  For 
the  whole  Trinity,  enjoying  infinite  sweet  fellowship  with  him- 
self, hence  desire  it  might  be  communicated ;  in  Christ  it  is  so, 
and  now  the  last  end  is  attained.  Now,  if  this  be  our  last  end, 
ought  wg  not  ta  rtPfiifP  '^  ^  Then,  we  ought  not  to  desire  to  be 
blessed,  nor  to  desire  the  Lord  may  be  glorified.  Nay,  you  know 
that  whatever  we  make  our  last  end,  it  will  swallow  up  all  our 
desires  after  any  other  thing.  This  is  the  center,  and  rest,  and 
journey's  end  of  our  tired,  weary  spirits.  And  the  truth  is, 
when  we  make  it  our  last  end,  we  can  not  but  desire  it. 

Section  UL 

Object,  But  ought  not  a  man  to  desire  to  live  here  in  this 
world  as  David  and  Hezekiah  did  ?  May  not  one  sin  in  this 
desire  ? 

Aju.  It  is  true,  "  precious  in  the  sight  of  the  Lord  is  the  death 
of  his  saints,**  not  only  in  regard  that  they  are  as  precious 
to  him  when  they  come  to  die,  as  while  they  live,  as  gold  when 
it  is  melting  is  as  precious  to  the  goldsmith  as  when  whole,  and 
it  may  be  more  too,  because  it  is  then  made  better ;  but  also  be- 
cause he  will  not  lightly  cast  away  their  lives.  He  that  bottles 
their  tears,  and  will  not  let  them  be  lost,  will  not  easily  let  go 
their  lives ;  and  if  God  will  not,  they  ought  not  upon  every 
slight  occasion  to  desire  their  death,  and  loss  of  their  lives,  to  be 
with  the  Lord. 

Now,  there  are  two  cases  God's  own  people  may  desire  to  re- 
move hence,  where,  though  there  be  some  fire  I  confess,  yet 
there  is  more  smoke  than  fire,  more  sin  than  grace. 

1.  In  case  tliey  meet  with  much  unkindness  from,  and  many 
sorrows  in,  the  world,  and  behold  the  sins  of  it.  Thus  it  was 
with  Elias,  (1  Kings  xix.  4,)  who,  when  Jezebel  threatened  bis 

14« 


162  THE  PARABLE  OP 

life,  fled,  and  would  needs  set  sail  presently,  and  be  gone ;  80 
it  is  with  God's  people,  when  they  see  enemies  withont,  the  nni* 
versal  rot  of  profession,  that  they  think  they  are  almost  left 
alone ;  when  God  hath  begun  to  do  good  by  them,  as  by  Elgah, 
but  they  think  their  best  days  are  past,  there  is  all  they  shall  do^ 
and  God  himself,  it  may  be,  meeting  them  with  some  crosses  in 
this  world.  Now,  presently  they  grow  weary  of  their  lives,  and 
desire  to  die,  which  is  nothing  else  but  a  pang  of  discontent ; 
truly,  Grod  will  not  suffer  it,  nor  you  ought  not  to  desire  it,  to  die 
away  in  such  a  snuff.  No  ;  the  Lord  has  work  for  them  to  do, 
and  a  journey  to  go.  This  desire  is  nought,  and  it  is  but  a  weed, 
and  to  be  pulled  up,  that  grows  out  of  such  a  root  as  a  discon- 
tented heart  for  crosses.  I  confess,  Grod  uses  sorrows  as  means 
to  smoke  us  out  of  our  hive,  and  we  may  use  them  for  that  end, 
but  not  only  or  chiefly  them,  nor  from  a  pang  or  moody  fit  of 
discontent. 

2.  In  case  they  desire  death  and  not  life,  before  they  be  ripe 
for  death.  Husbandmen  desire  their  com  in,  but  it  is  folly  to 
desire  it  in  before  it  be  ripe,  and  then  they  may.  I  confess  it  is 
the  commendation  of  some  trees,  if  not  only  good,  but  if  ripe 
betimes  ;  and  it  is  the  honor  of  a  Christian  to  be  ripe  for  dearth 
betimes,  yet  still  before  he  is  ripe  he  is  not  to  desire  it 

Quest.  Now,  when  is  this  ? 

Ans.  1.  While  the  Lord  hides  his  face,  and  denies  full  assur- 
ance of  his  love,  in  this  case,  as  a  Christian  can  not,  so  he  ought 
not,  (if  it  were  the  Lord's  will,)  desire  to  be  gone  as  yet ;  and 
this  is  one  reason  why  David  and  Ilezekiah  desired  life,  not 
death  as  yet.  God  had  broken  their  bones,  and  his  arrows  were 
yet  in  their  hearts.  Now,  a  man  is  to  desire  he  may  stay  a 
little  while  longer,  that  he  may  "  sing  the  song  of  the  Lamb,** 
and  tell  the  world  "  what  the  Lord  hath  done  for  him,"  and  that 
he  may  not  set  in  a  cloud  and  die  in  horror.  Mariners  long  to 
be  on  shore ;  but  before  they  come  there,  they  would  not  ven- 
ture in  a  mist,  but  see  land  first ;  so  should  we  desire  to  see  the 
Lord  in  the  land  of  the  living.  Nay,  though  the  Lord  gives  his 
people  a  promise,  which  stays  their  hearts,  and  is  a  twig  to  keep 
them  from  sinking ;  nay,  when  he^gives  them  some  joy,  yet  still 
God  has  promised  to  reveal  more  of  himself  and  his  Christ  in 
the  promise,  seeing  him  but  darkly  now.  Now,  they  ought  not 
to  desire,  but  wait,  as  in  Simeon's  case  —  "  Now,  let  thy  servant 
depart  in  peace,"  having  long  "  waited  for  the  consolation  of  Is- 
rael." Children  that  will  be  up  before  it  is  day  must  be 
whipped ;  a  rod  is  most  fit  for  them  ;  stay  till  it  is  day. 

2.  Wliile  their  work  remains  unfinished,  and  the  Lord  has  got 


THB  TEN  TIROnCS.  163 

Bttle  or  no  glory  from  them,  though  they  may  have  clear  evi- 
dence of  the  Lord's  love.     Christ  himself  desired  it  not  till  now. 
Jolm  xrii.  5.     If  thou  couldst  scale  heaven  before  thy  work  was 
dooe^  the  Lord  would  send  thee  down  from  thence  again,  as  he 
M  the  soul  of  Lazarus ;  and,  truly,  to  do  the  work  of  Christ 
one  moment  here  is  better  than  to  have  a  thousand  years'  felicity 
io  heaven,  nakedly  considered  in  itself,  inasmuch  as  the  honor  of 
Christ  is  a  thousand  times  better  than  our  own  good.     It  may 
be  there  is  much  work  within  doors,  many  odd  distempers  to  be 
cashiered,  spiritual  decays,  etc     It  may  be  there  is  work  with- 
out ;  Christ  has  many  enemies  in  the  world,  many  prayers  are 
yet  to  be  spent  against  them,  much  good  to  do  for  his  church, 
many  tears  to  be  shed  for  them ;  for  praying  trade  is  past  in 
heaven.     It  may  be  some  friends  yet  to  be  converted,  thou  hast 
been  a  scandal  to  them ;  it  may  be  as  yet  few  have  been,  or  cati 
say  they  be,  the  warmer  or  better  for  thee ;  that  work  is  yet  to 
be  done.     It  may  be  Grod  has  some  secrets  to  reveal  by  thee 
before  thou  diest ;  stay,  therefore,  a  while,  while  your  work  is 
done.     It  is  true,  thou  hast  but  one  talent,  but  little  thou  hast  or 
canst  do ;  yet  Grod  looks  you  should  improve  it  whilst  he  is  gone. 
A  man  that  will  needs  to  bed  at  noonday,  before  night  comes, 
what  deserves  he  but  a  cudgel  ?     So  he  that  will  die  before  his 
night  comes,  and  while  it  is  light  to  see  and  work  by.     When, 
therefore,  you  apprehend  your  work  even  done ;  then  as  not 
only  Christ,  but  Paul ;  not  only  Paul,  but  God's  watchful  ser- 
vants, have  secret  warnings  of  death.     And  as  mariners,  when 
they  see  no  land,  yet,  by  their  soundings,  can  tell  they  are  near 
land  or  sands,  then  you  may  desire  it ;  for  then  you  are  ripe, 
but  it  is  sin  to  do  it  otherwise.     And,  verily,  happy  is  that  man 
that  accounts  not  his  life  dear,  but  only  the  finishing  of  his  course 
with  joy.     To  conclude  all,  we  are  to  desire  our  fellowship  with 
Clirist,  as  a  man  desires  his  last  end,  which  desire  doth  not  ex- 
clude, but  include,  desire  af\er  all  the  means  first,  before  the  end. 
Now,  many  things  are  to  be  done  by  Gro<l  upon  us,  and  by  us 
for  the  Lord  again,  before  we  appear  before  Christ,  which  we 
may  desire,  firstly,  for  this  our  last  end. 

Section  IV. 

^^i=::l.  Hence  we  see  the  vileness  of  the  great,  yet  hidden 
secret  sin  of  the  whole  world,  which  may  be  in  part  also  in 
God's  dearest  saints,  viz.,  in  their  hungry  lusting^  and  dropj^y 
desires  after  the  sweet  of  the  things  of  this  world—  You  shall 
have  a  man  that  amends  his  life,  reforms  his  course,  forsakes  his 


I 


I 


I 


164  Ti 

own  righteouBness,  no  man's  tooguc  can  tell  him,  bis  omi  toli''^ 
science  can  not  bear  witness  against  him,  that  he  live-s  in  anj  usr  I 
lavrful  course  ;  and  I  bulicve  it  is  so,  and  m&j  be  and  will  be  M> 
Shall  I  tell  jou,  tlierefore,  what  hurts  them  ?     They  are  inordi- 
I  nate  lustings  ^er  lawful  Ihinga  in  themselves,  and  these  thej 
I  serve.  Tit.  iii.  S.  /  Partly  ihcy  grieve  him,  if  they  do  not  satia- 
ij  and  serve  thAn ;  partly,  because  they  pay  them  with  pleas- 
ures and   delights,   if   they   do.      Hence,   "  serving  luete  i 
pleasures,"  too,  these,  like  tops  of  mountains,  are  seen ;  n 
when  floods  of  wickedness  begin  to  abate,  these  will  continm  I 
while  the  life  lasts.  1 

I  intend  not  to  show  you  at  large,  but  according  to  my  tex^  1 
the  vilenesg  of  tlicm.  1 

1.  They  eat  out  all  desire  after  the  Lord  Jesus  and  his  fel-  | 
lowghip,  that  he  can  not  long  for  the  Lord  Jesus.  For  a 
can  lay  out  no  more  than  he  has ;  now,  when  his  desires  are 
lavished  and  let  out  to  other  things,  how  can  he  lay  out  any  on 
Christ  ?  And  thus  the  Lord  of  glory  comes  to  bear  most  h^- 
rible  contempt,  that  he  is  not  worth  desiring  in  such  a  roan's 
books.  Thus  it  was  with  them,  (Luke  xiv.  18,)  "Every  oas 
refused."  Why  ?  Because  of  their  oxen,  and  wives,  and  farm 
— lawful  things  ;  but  they  lusted  too  much  al'ter  these.  When  • 
harlot  seeks  to  satisfy  her  lusts,  she  cnrea  not  how  far  her  hnft>  f 
band  be  off,  never  desires  his  coming  home ;  so  here.  Many  m 
one  complains  he  can  not  desire  the  Lord  Jesus,  which,  I  coik-  1 
fess,  is  in  mercy  to  some.  But  where  is  the  cause  of  it  ?  0^ 
they  are  running  in  another  channel,  and  spent  on  other  things. 
What  a  heavy  curse  is  this  1  Some  never  think  of  death  once 
in  a  moon,  much  less  long  for  Christ ;  desire  not  his  fellowship 
here,  much  less  tliere.  And  why  7  Because  of  their  lusts  that 
eat  out  alL 

2.  Suppose  tliey  do  not  thus,  but  your  heart  is  divided,  so  tl 
you  long  for  these  things  now,  and  preserve  your  longing  fi 
him  against  you  come  to  die  ;  yet  these  will  make  you  loee  bk  I 
sweet  fellowship.     For  a  man's  alTcctions  are  precious  tiling^  ■ 
and  it  is  a  pity  any  else  should  have  tlicm  ;  they  arc  all  litllk-J 
enough  for  Christ,  and  Christ  is  worth  desiring  and  longing  fori  f 
and  he  stands  upon  it,  and  will  make  them  know  that  have  I ' 
that  all  is  too  little  fur  him,  and  they  shall  give  him  all  b 
he  ^ve  himself  to  their  comfort.     Hence  deny  him  these 
never  think  to  have  himself  and  his  fellowship.  Fs.  IxxitL  SSj 
26,  "  It  is  good  for  me  to  draw  nigh."     How  ?     By  dcsirifi|^ 
not  earth  nor  heaven,  but  him.     Hence  he  soiili,  "  Thou  dcBtrayii 
esl  all  them  that  go  a  whoring  from  tliee."  Verse  27. 


TtlE  TEN   VlKUtNS.  165 

8.  Snppofle  thou  shouldst  have  liim  at  last  s  yet  he  will  never 
leMre  thee,  never  take  any  dcliglit  in  tliee,  until  liiiit  you  come 
■'to  get  Tour  afiections  unloosed  here.  Ps.  slv.  Id,  11,  Dost  ihou 
not  find  a.  BtnuigenesB  between  Christ  and  thy  soul?  Uoth  he 
not  hide  his  face  ?  Doth  he  not  eoon  depart  from  thee,  though 
he  appears  sometiiaes  to  thee  7  Doth  he  not  let  thee  lie  like  a 
broom  behind  the  door,  and  doth  lillle  by  thee  either  within  or 
viihout  ?  And  is  not  tbix  a  sad  and  heavy  thing?  Why,6ayest 
ihou,  doth  the  Lord  deal  thus  with  me?  0,  thy  heart  is  yet 
»fter  thy  father'a  houBC  ;  if  thou  didst  forget  it,  then  he  would 
'■  take  pleasure  in  thy  beauty."  "Wliat  pleasure  can  earth  give 
thee,  when  then  the  Lord  takes  no  pleasure  in  tbee  ? 

Objfct.  But  may  not  a  man  destre  these  things  ?  If  we  may, 
how  far? 

Ans.  1.  A  man  may  lawfully  desire  Uiem,  provided  hisi 
desirea  are  not  swallowed  up  in.  them,  but  run  through  lliem 
to  Christ  himself.  For  it  ia  not  lust,  properly  to  desire  a 
r  any  pleasure  in  it;  but  to  desire  it  for  itself,  and 

"g  sake ;  for  now  a  man  makes  a  god  of  it.     Thua  ' 

it  was  with  the  Israelilea;  (Eiodus  ivii.,)  "  Give  us  water  tlml 
we  may  drink ; "  so,  give  me  sle«p  tliat  I  may  rest ;  give  me 
clothes  that  I  may  be  warm  ;  give  me  an  estate  tliat  I  may  be 
rich,  etc.  Now,  when  a  heart  desires  them,  but  his  desires  end 
not  there,  but  run  through  them  to  Christ,  that  he  flings  down  all 
comforts,  and  say eth.  What  is  this  to  fellowship  with  ChnstI 
Thns  far  a  man  may  desire  and  rejoice  in  them,  and  it  is  a  sin 
to  do  otherwise.  Nehem.  ix.  35.  A  man  may  be  content  to 
have  a  spring  ran  through  his  ground  to  the  sea,  to  be  swallowed 
up  there ;  but  to  swell  and  rise,  and  overflow  hia  ground  and 
bouse,  that  is  not  safe  ;  be  may  be  drowned  so.  So  men  come  to 
f  jw  drowned  in  their  lusts  that  let  them  swell  within  doors.  ,  i 
.  n.  A  man  may  desire  them  if  he_  doth  not  spend  more  desire 
a  them  than  they  be  worth.  A  man  may  desire  them  for  a 
1  end,  as  he  thinks,  but  then  he  lays  out  too  much  upon  them. 
Lman  may  spend  too  much  in  tua  inn,  when  he  takes  it  up  only 
ft  B  way  to  his  home. 

,  1.  They  are  perishing  things;  therefore  let  them  have  perish- 
^  desires.  "The  world  passeth  away."  They  are  passengers 
by  na,  that  stay  to  rest  with  ua  for  a  time  j  let  them  have  pas- 
sengers' welcome. 

2.  They  are  not  necessary  things  ;  let  them  have,  tlierefore,  in- 
difierent  desires.  1  must  have  Christ,  and  his  Spirit,  elc^  not 
ibeae  things;  they  are  to  be  sought  not  in  the  first,  but  in  the 
eecond   place.     Therefore  say,  first  Christ;  now  let  me  have 


1«6  T 

Christ.     Men  Bay  now  these  things,  then  Christ.     I  My,  now  tha 
Lord  Jesus,  whether  ever  you  hare  thum  or  no. 

in.  Now,  iill  sui>erfluity  of  evil  desires  is  to  be  crucified. 
Gol.  V.  24,  "  They  that  are  in  Christ  have  crucified,"  etc  Chrial ' 
wa3  not  a.  dead,  but  first  a  crucified  Christ  berore ;  eo  no  stunt 
liviug  hut  he  hath  some  superfluous  desires ;  but  though  the^ 
live,  they  do  crucify  them ;  bo  ought  you.  There  are  two  thin^ 
in  crucifying. 

1.  There  is  extreme  pain  upon  the  cross. 

2.  A  looking  for  death.     So,  then,  lusts  are  crucified,  — 

1.  When  you  taste  the  bitterness  of  your  lusts  by  patting 
them  on  Christ's  cross.  0  the  wrongs  they  have  done  to  tba 
Son  of  God  I    And  do  iJiis  with  violence  ;  say,  you  shall  to  ihs 

I  cross.     He  that  looks  lo  Christ  with  a  frolic  heart  to  kill  Ut 
lusts,  shall  never  find  him. 

2.  Now,  looking  and  longing  for  their  death,  by  holding  theu 
there.  Unless  the  blood  of  Christ  slay  these,  I  will  never  ban 
any  death  for  them ;  for  all  the  reason  in  the  world  will  nevar 
kill  a  lust,  no  more  than  all  the  reason  will  persuade  the  stomadl 
not  to  hunger.     The  belly  hath  no  ears. 

j       Thu3.'you  are  to  moderate  your  desires  after  these  things; 
which  I  speak  of,  — 

Fint.  Because  it  is  a  wilderness  sin,  (Pa.  exvi,  14, 15,)  whicji, 
it  may  be,  you  feel,  brings  leanness  on  your  soul.     And,  — 

Secoiidty.  Because  it  is  the  sin  of  prosperity  and  peace  which 
God  bath  given  us,  which  will  grow  up  and  choke  the  word,  that 
all  ordinances  and  truths  will    in   time    he    sapless,  favorleeC 

Thirdly.  Because  I  have  had  strong  fears  lately  of 
espeded  trials  among  us,  and  I  should  be  glad  if  it  might  not  ba^. 

.if  the  freedom  from  them  might  make  us  better ;  else,  I  say,  ' 

Ithem  come.)    But, — 

^"^oHTthlij.  Because  it  is  a  rare  thing  among 
burning  lamps  as  look  and  long  for  Christ's  coming,  which  w1 
I  consider,  though  there  he  other  causes,  yet  one  great 
this  :    O,  the    heart  is  gone   away  by  violent   lusls  after 
things  here,     O,  therefore,  take  heed  of  them ;  and 
consider, — 

1.  You  shall  have  Christ  and  his  fellowship,  if,  indeed, 
long  for  himi  (John  iv.  10,)  that  is  his  love.  You  are  no 
desirous  but  he  is  a  thousand  times  more.  Thou  mayst  d( 
these  things,  and,  if  God  loves  thee,  miss  of  them.  God 
make  thee  poor  when  Ihou  wouldst  he  rich,  base  when  thou 
be  honored,  and  when  you  would  have  honey,  he  will  give 


THE  TEN  VIBOINS.  167 

ttiogs ;  and  caase  jou  have  to  thank  the  Lord,  too,  that  he  will 
tiot  giFe  jou  your  portion  here. 

2.  If  thoa  hast  them,  and  dost  desire  them,  and  God  gives 
them,  and  thoa  lettest  Christ  go,  thou  hadst  better  a  thousand 
times  be  without  them.  Ps.  Izxviii.  31,  *<  The  meat  was  in 
their  mouths,  and  the  wrath  of  God  came  upon  them."  If  the 
Lord  gives  thee  Christ,  happy  forever ;  if  these  things,  when 
thou  dost  so  desire  them,  O,  woe  forever. 

3.  The  fellowship  of  the  Lord  Jesus  thou  shalt  never  lose. 
Death  shall  not  part  thee  from  that ;  nothing  shall  rob  thee  of 
that;  but  look  after  and  long  for  these  things,  they  will  perish 
and  die  away.  *'  All  flesh  is  grass ;  the  word  of  the  Lord,"  and 
the  Lord  himself  much  more,  ^*  endureth  forever." 

4.  Why  dost  thou  desire  these  things  ?  For  some  sweet  in  them. 
Why  is  not  all  that  in  the  presence  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  and  en- 
joying him  ?  ^  It  pleaseth  the  Father  that  in  him  should  all  full- 
ness dwell,"  so  that  thou  shalt  drink  as  out  of  a  pure  fountain  all 
that  is  there.  If  there  be  any  sweetness  here,  he  gave  it ;  it  is 
much  more  eminently  in  himself;  (Exodus  xxiv.  11,)  "They 
saw  the  God  of  Israel,  and  eat  and  drank."  Had  they  meat  up 
with  them  ?  O,  no ;  but  the  sight  of  him  was  meat  and  drink, 
and  all  unto  them.     As,  therefore,  you  desire  Christ's  fellowship, 

0,  long  no  more  after  these  things  here  !  ^ 

Use  2.  Hence,  see  death  is  not  to  be  feared,  but  desired  of  all 
saints.  It  was  an  odd  speech  of  a  heathen,  "  It  is  ill  to  desire 
death,  and  worse  to  fear  it ; "  he  meant,  not  because  of  any  good 
in  it,  but  because  we  must  die.  But  death  brings  us  into  eter- 
nal feUowship  with  the  Lord  Jesus.  It  does  saints  more  good 
than  all  ordinances,  all  afflictions,  (wherein  we  complain  we  can 
get  no  good,)  than  all  means.     It  brings  us  into  his  feUowship, 

1.  Quickly ;  as  Christ  was  caught  up,  so  the  soul  by  Christ  to 
himself.  2.  Immediately ;  for  the  next  thing  we  shall  see  is 
Christ  himself,  our  husband  himself;  and  then  see  the  kingdom, 
and  then  wonder  at  the  Lord.  3.  Everlastingly — never  to 
part  more.  0,  fear  it  not,  therefore ;  Christ  has  sweetened  it 
to  you. 

Section  V.  ' 

Use  3.  Hence  see  a  clear  foundation  and  groundwork  of  long- 
ing for  fellowship  with  the  Lord  Jesus  in  his  ordinances  here. 
This  is  that  I  shall  exhort  to.     For,  — 

1.  You  can  not,  shall  not,  must  not  now  go  to  him  in  heaven, 
nor  enjoy  fellowship  with  him,  nor  meet  him  in  the  clouds,  tliough 
joa  do  long  for  that  day ;  but  in  hb  ordinances  you  may  meet 


Tne   TAKABLL   OF 

with  liim  now.  And  Iruly  those  whom  we  love  and  long  for,  if 
we  can  not  go  to  their  house  or  find  them  at  Lome,  we  are  glad' 
to  meet  with  them  abroad.  As  with  those  who  eland  before' 
princeB,  if  we  can  not  be  with  them  on  the  throne,  or  at  court,  w 
will  desire  to  be  with  them  in  the  couutrj,  nay,  on  the  dungbi&- 
O,  the  spirit  of  David!  (Ps.  sucvii.  4,)  "One  thing  have  I  ' 
Bired,  and  that  I  will  seek  for,"  though  I  never  have  it.  Wbsfe 
is  that,  David  ?  Is  it  to  wear  the  crown  in  Jenisalem  ?  Is  itt» 
have  all  thine  enemies  lick  the  dust  of  thy  feet?  Is  it  to  hav6 
thy  name  spread,  and  thine  honor  great  tlirough  all  the  kingb'' 
dom«  of  the  world  ?  No ;  but  "  that  I  may  dwell  in  the  conrtt 
of  the  Lord's  house  all  the  days  of  my  life,"  and  that  Eeeing  X 
con  not,  shall  not  die  presently,  and  so  go  to  see  his  glory  ia 
heaven,  therefore,  that  I  may  see  his  beanty  here,  enjoy  him 
here,  and  that  not  for  some  years,  but  all  the  days  of  my  lif^ 

2.  Ought  you  not  to  long  to  taste  and  pass  tlirough  the  so^ 
rows  of  death,  that  you  may  be  with  him  ?  And  are  Christ 
ordinances  more  hitler  than  death,  that  yon  ore  loth  to  brealc 
through  the  dilficulty  of  them,  that  in  them  you  may  enjoy  himf 
The  truth  is,  so  it  is  with  mnny  a  man,  that  such  is  the  strength 
of  his  hidden  contempt  of  Christ,  and  his  love  to  hb  sloth,  wt 
he  had  rather  die  than  pray,  and  be  damned  etemitlly  than  t 
follow  the  Lord  in  an  ordinance  till  he  has  found  him  gnicioiiEly> 
How  come  God's  own  people  to  lament  this,  if  there  were 
notlhU? 

3.  I  remember  a  sweet  speech  of  one  with  God,  "  That  M 
Christian  ought  to  prepare  for  a  sacrament  as  he  would  preparA 
to  die ;  for,"  saith  he,  "  there  is  but  this  difference  :  when  we  dtt 
we  go  to  Christ ;  in  a  sacrament  Christ  comes  to  us."  What  m 
said  of  a  sacrament,  1  say  of  every  ordinance ;  in  every  ord$ 
nance  Christ  comes  to  us ;  when  wo  die  we  go  lo  him.  Now; 
onght  you  to  long,  when  you  are  absent,  lo  l>e  with  him,  and  wiB 

care  for  him,  nor  long  to  see  him,  and  enjoy  him,  wh( 
he  comes  to  you ''  and  so  be  wome  (ban  poor  naked  India 
Christ  comes  not  to  them,  no  dews  full  down  on  their  Gilbc 
no  manna  at  their  tent  doors,  and  hence  ihcy  live  wilhont  h 
and  desire  him  not ;  and  when  he  comes  to  you.  do  yoa  see  i 
beauty  in  him  now  why  you  should  desire  him  ?  Will  yoa  t&ol 
requite  him  for  his  love,  0  foolish  children  and  unwise? 

4.  Truly,  beloved,  yon  can  have  but  Utile  evidence  you  M 
desire  the  Lord  Jesus's  company  in  lieaven  at  the  last  day,  ihaj 
long  not  vehemently  after  him  in  his  ortlinances  now.  "  ToB 
have  followed  me  in  the  regeneration,"  siuth  ChHsi,  (MatL  xn£ 
28,)  therefore  "  you  shall  sit  with  me  upon  thrones."    If  Chrisni 


^Ibo^ 
it  hiiq 


THE  TEN   VIB6INS.  169 

presence  here,  a  little  of  himself  be  bnrdeDsome,  what  will  it  be 
in  heaven,  then  ?  "  Depart  from  me,"  saith  Christ ;  "  I  was  in 
prison  and  jou  visited  me  not."  Shall  you  depart  for  not  visit- 
ing an  imprisoned,  persecuted,  sick,  sorrowful  Christ,  in  midst 
of  miseries ;  and  shall  not  jou  depart  for  not  visiting  a  comfort- 
ing Christ,  a  teaching  Christ,  an  entreating,  embracing  Christ, 
in  the  midst  of  his  ordinances  ?  If  the  Lord  tries  you  with 
water,  with  a  little  of  himself  here,  and  you  care  not  for  him, 
long  not  after  him,  and  hence  let  all  leak  out  again,  how  shall 
the  Lord  trust  jou  with  wine  ?  with  full  fruition  of  himself  in 
heaven? 

5.  O  beloved,  have  you  ever  found  him  in  the  ordinances  ? 
If  not,  O,  the  heavy  wrath  of  the  Lord  Jesus  upon  thee  !     If  you 
iuive ;  if  ever  he  has  comforted  thee  when  sad  and  sorrowful ;  if 
erer  quickened  thee  when  death  and  darkness  did  lie  upon  thee  ; 
if  ever  he  did  deliver  thee  when  distressed,  O,  then  take  heed 
of  despising  him  in  his  ordinances  now,  but  long  for  him  again, 
^  That  I  may  see  thee  as  I  have  seen  thee."  Ps.  Ixiii.  2.     Let 
(hem  that  never  found  him  deal  so  with  him.     Peter,  when  he 
saw  Christ's  glory  on  the  mount,  "  Lord,"  saith  he,  "  it  is  good 
for  us  to  be  here."     Has  the  Lord  ever  transfigured  himself  be- 
fore thee,  so  as  he  has  appeared  in  another  manner  to  thee  in 
his  ordinances  than  ever  thou  sawest  before  ?     Then  say,  seeing. 
Lord,  I  can  not  come  to  heaven  to  thee,  it  is  good  being  in  the 
mount,  in  thy  ordinances  with  thee ;  it  is  good  being  here.  1  Pet. 
iL  2—4.     I  know,  brethren,  you  have  many  employments  in  the^ 
world,  and  are  called  away  to  them,  and  can  not  ever  be  with  the 
Lord ;  yet  let  your  longings  be  there ;  nay,  though  cast  out  of 
Grod^s  sight,  yet  look  to  the  temple ;  this  will  give  you  peace. 

^  This,  if  I  may  have  leave  to  speak  plainly,  is  the  great  sin, 
one  of  them,  of  New  £ngland.  Men  come  over  hither  for  ordi- 
nances, and  when  they  have  them,  neglect  them ;  or  if  it  be  too 
horrible  to  live  in  a  gross  neglect  of  them,  yet  who  maintains  his 
fellowship  with  Christ,  or  longing  after  the  fellowship  of  Christ 
in  them  y  And,  therefore,  I  shall  stay  a  while  on  this  point.  Moii^ 
that  are  sick  of  consumptions  have  sometimes  a  mighty  stomach 
after  meat ;  and,  when  it  is  brought  them,  they  are  weary  of  the 
very  smell  of  it,  and  then  say,  Truly  I  had  thought  I  could  have 
eaten  so  much ;  so  men  loathe  ordinances,  nay,  the  cooks  that 
dress,  and  the  dish  that  brings,  and  the  ministry  of  Christ  Jesus 
that  provides  the  meat,  because  consuming  and  pining  away  in 
their  iniquities.  I  know  many  use  ordinances  ;  but  are  they  not 
indifferent  whether  they  find  him  therein  or  no  ?  Now,  — 
1.  When  men  had  enough  by  them  to  live  comfortably  upon, 

TOL.  If.  15 


170 


;  PABASLE  OF 


I 


I 
1 

L 


then  Grod  and  his  ordinances  were  desired  by  them ;  but 

men's  removing  begetting  wiint,  want  of  the  creature,  j 
with  I'ear  and  distrust  of  God's  providence  to  provide  for 
and  theirs,  either  sink  their  hearts,  that  ordinances  are  not  sweet, 
no  more  than  Moses'  message  to  a  people  in  anguish,  or  meat 
to  a  wounded  man  ;  or  else  makes  them  hungry  after  the  crea* 
ture,  aDd  hence  Uviahing  out  their  desires,  that  they  have 
afterthe  Lord  himself. 
,1  \  ^r  When  men  are  pereecoted  by  enemies,  driven  into 
I      'or  to  toWna  six  miles  off,  to  find  a  sacrament  or  hear  a 

theo  the  gospel  of  peace,  and  tiiem  that  brought  the  glad  tidingt 
of  peac«,  their  feet  were  beauiiful ;  and  then  men  thought,  if 
one  Sabbath  here  so  sweet,  where  ordioanees  are  much  corrupt- 
ed, if  some  of  them  be  so  comfortable  in  the  midst  of  enemies, 
O,  how  sweet  to  enjoy  them  all  among  saints,  among  fiiends ! 
And  so  I  know  they  be  to  some,  and,  I  hope,  to  more  than  I 
know)  but  New  England's  peace  and  plenty  of  means  breeds 

'  strange  security ;  and  hence  prayer  is  neglected  here.  There 
are  no  enemies  to  hunt  you  to  heaven,  nor  chmna  to  make  you 
cry;  hence  the  gospel  and  Christ  in  it  is  slighted.  Why?  Ilere 
are  no  sour  lierbs  to  make  the  lamb  sweet.  And  if  I  get  no 
good  this  Sabbath,  this  sermon,  this  sacrament,  this  prayer, 
hope  I  shall  some  other  time,  when  my  heart  is  belter  and  my 

,  business  is  over ;  not  considering  that  the  days  of  trouble 
be  near,  or  God's  final  farewell  may  be  quickly  taken. 

•  ~4.  It  was  a  sad  speech  uf  a  brother  lately,  which  has  oft 
fected  me,  that  "a  man  may  pray  out,  hear  out  all  the  grace  of 
his  heart."  Meaning  tliis,  when  God  begins  lo  work  upon  a 
man's  heart  at  first,  then  prayer  and  word  is  sweet ;  stay  a  whil^ 
they  hear  out  their  hearing,  and  pray  out  their  praying ;  n, 
as  in  praying  they  pray  not,  and  in  hearing  they  hear  not. 
.  Would  to  Grod  there  were  not  a  generation  of  those  men  among 
US,  tlial,  having  been  so  oft  sermon-trod  and  prayer-beaten,  that 
now  their  hearts  are  hardened,  and  being  used  to  ordinances, 
and  being  so  long  ridden  under  Uiem,  I  wish  they  were  not  tired 
and  jaded  under  them  before  they  come  half  way  home,  thilit 
they  had  rather  lie  and  die  in  the  highway  than  get  up, 
with  mighty  groans  and  invincible  wrestlings  of  heart,  seek 
and  so  find  the  Lord  in  them. 

4.  There  is  no  place  in  all  iJie  world  where  there  is  such 
pectation  to  find  iho  Lord  as  here:  and  hence  men 
Lord  for  our  rising  s'lin  when  it  "is  setting  every  where  el 
Here,  therefore,  they  come  and  find  it  not ;  hence  not 
ing  the  great  and  last  teiuplatioa  of  lliis  place,  whereby 


Imyj 


THE  TEN  VIRGINS.  171 

tries  his  friends  before  he  will  trust  them  with  more  of  himself, 
viz.,  deep  and  frequent  desertions ;  they  give  in,  and  therefore . 
care  not  for,  nor  desire  after,  those  plasters  which  they  feel  heal 
them  not,  nor  that  food  which  they  find  nourisheth  them  not. 
It  is  strange  to  see  what  a  faith  some  men  have  that  can  close^ 
with  Christ  as  their  end,  and  comfort  themselves  there.     It  is 
not  means,  (say  they,)  but  Christ ;  not  duties,  but  Christ ;  and 
bj  this  faith  can  comfort  and  quiet  themselves  in  the  neglect  and 
contempt  of  Christ  in  means  —  as  infallible  a  brand  of  God's 
eternal  reprobation  of  such  a  soul  as  any  I  know.     So  that  this 
is  New  England's  sin.    Is  not  prayer  neglected,  wanting  place 
and  heart  ?     If  not  in  family,  is  it  not  in  secret  ?  yet  doth  it  not 
die?     Didst  thou  ever  find  thy  spirit  so  straitened?     Where    \ 
are  the  mighty  groans  ?     What  is  become  of  meditation  ?     Dost 
thou   not  let   ^bbaths,   sermons    pass  over,   which   shall   be 
preached  over  again  at  the  last  day,  and  find  no  Christ,  no 
Spirit  in  them;  and  thus  lie  famishing,  and  yet  not  cry  for 
bread  ?     If  it  be  not  so,  I  am  glad ;  Grod,  angels,  saints,  and  all 
the  world  shall  call  you  blessed.     If  it  be  so,  I  dare  be  bold  to 
prophesy  ruin  to  this  place  and  people,  and  that  you  or  your 
posterity  shall,  either  in  woods,  or  in  the  land,  or  in  the  hands  . 
of  your  enemies  in  this  place,  lament  with  tears  the  contempt  of  | 
means/ and  you,  even  disciples  of  Christ,  *^  shall  desire  to  see  j 
one  of  the  days  of  the  Son  of  man,  and  shall  not  see  them. 
Jer.  viiL  13,  14,  "Let  us  go  into  strongholds,"  etc.     I  know 
there  are  many  that  do  meet  the  Lord ;  but  are  you  not  apt  to 
fall  asleep  again  ?     O,  therefore,  let  me  entreat  you,  if  the  Lord 
has  espoused  you  to  himself,  if  you  have  any  longings  afler  him 
in  heaven,  seeing  those  desires  can  not  be  fulfilled  presently,  O, 
long  to  meet  him  here,  and  so  long  to  meet  him  as  that  you  may 
indeed  meet  with  him,  and  with  more  and  more  of  him. 

Section  VI. 

Qttest,  What  is  it  to  meet  Christ,  and  to  have  fellowship  with 
him  in  his  ordinances  ? 

Am.  I  have  been  oft  asked  this,  and  for  the  sake  of  them 
that  be  weak,  I  shall  give  you  a  taste  of  it. 

1.  Therefore,  look  as  it  is  with  a  man  that  receives  any  com- 
mon mercy  from  God,  from  Christ,  if  he  sees  not  the  Lord  Jesus 
really  giving  it,  he  enjoys  it,  but  not  Christ  in  it,  though  he  get 
some  good  out  of  the  thing.  So  let  a  man  receive  more  knowl- 
edge of  truths,  and  more  truth  be  discovered,  more  promises 
revealed,  more  affections  and  life  dropped  into  the  heart,  whicli 


may  do  a  man  some  good ;  yet  if  lie  sees  them  as  Eeparated 
from  Christ,  if  he  sees  Dot  the  truth  o«  it  is  in  Jesus,  il'  he  aeea 
not  promises  spoken  from  heaven  by  Jesus,  if  he  looks  not  oo 
all  commands  as  part  of  tbe  secret  of  Jeeue,  if  he  receive  affec- 
tions, and  by  them  behold  not  the  Lord  Jesus,  be  dolh  not  at 
that  time  enjoy  the  Lord  Jesus.  For  he  now,  indeed,  enjoys 
his  gifts  ;  but  by  these  he  doth  not  enjoy  him.  Ami,  therefore, 
fthen^a  man  may  be  said  lo  hare  fellowship  wiib  Christ  in  ao 
'ordinance,  when  by  all  the  light  and  lii^  and  comfort  there,  he 
comes  to  sec  him,  and  sees  them  aU  in  him,  and  seeing  a  Iran- 
\  scendent  glory  in  him,  sees  and  beholds  a  hidden  glory  in  them. 
'I'Eis  commaad  is  a  secret  of  Jesus,  this  promise  the  sweM  voice 
of  Jesus,  these  consolations  the  comforts  of  Jesus,  these  measen- 

fere  the  ministers  of  Jesus,  these  ordinances  the  kingdom  of 
esus.  And,  therefore,  look  throughout  all  the  Scriptures,  yon 
shall  see  our  fellowship  with  Christ,  both  in  heaven  and  here; 
it  is  expressed  by  "  seeing  of  the  Lord."  John  xvii.  24 ;  Pi. 
Ixiii.  2,  and  xvii.  4.  I  have  oft  said  to  my  friends,  the  great 
sin  of  Christians  is  to  see  scriptures,  ordinances,  trnlhs,  «im- 
mands,  blows,  kindnesses,  aa  not  flowing  from  and  abiding  in 
the  Lord  Jesus,  to  see  them  separate  from  Christ,  and  not  Christ 
and  them  together ;  and  hence  promises  comfort  not,  because 
you  receive  tliem  not  as  spoken  by  Jesua.  Conmiands  awe  not, 
because  not  as  the  voice  of  Jesus ;  every  truth  is  not  dear,  be- 
cause you  see  it  not  as  the  Bridegroom's  voice.  Parents  that 
have  Had  rude  children  have  tunieil  them  out  of  doors  i  they 
themselves  have  sent  them  clothes  and  money  out  of  pity,  but 
themselves  have  not  been  seen,  that  they  might  seek  for  a  fa- 
ther's house  at  last.  So  when  God  is  angry  with  some  of  his  jieo- 
pte,  he  doth  send  to  them  in  hie  providences  and  ordinances,  be- 
cause he  pities  them,  but  himself  is  not  seen.  Why  ?  That  at 
last  they  might  come  home,  and  seek  lo  see  his  face  again,  and 
say,  What  good  does  all  this  do  me,  if  I  see  no  God  ?  I  con- 
^^  fess,  he  that  receives  gifls  from  another  ought  to  be  tliankful ; 

^L  but  a  heart  that  loves  and  longs  atler  the  Lord  will  say.  Here  i[|. 

^M  blessing,  means,  truth,  warmth  ;  but,  Lonl,  when  wilt  thou  a 

■  thyself?     O,  labor  for  this. 

^H  2.  When  a  man  feels  the  power  of  the   Ixird  Jesus  i 

^H  ordinances.     This  is  the  second  part  of  David's  desire,  (Fs. 

^M  Ixiii.  2,  3.)  "  That  I  may  see,"  not  only  Iby  glory,  but  "  thy 

^H  power ; "  for  there  is  never  a  child  of  God  but  feels  a  strong 

^H  parly  within  him  against  Christ,  so  that  ho  can  not  i^cek  Christ, 

^H  cleave  to  Christ,  live  to  Christ.     Now,  you   will  find   in    some 

^H  ordinances  your  hearts  shaken  and  troubled  for  sin,  and  name 


I 


Lnkfiil; 
ilereiiij 

IICOOHM 


THE  TEN  YIRGINS.  173 

desires  and  ooDSoladona  stirred  up,  and  hopes  never  to  be  as  you 
have  been.     But,  beloved,  all  dies  and  falls  down  again.     Now, 
I  confess  there  is  somewhat  of  Christ  in  all  this  ;  but  yet  con- 
tent not  yourselves  with  this,  because  you  want  a  power,  or  until 
70a  find  a  mighty  power  of  Christ,  by  little  and  little,  subduing 
8in;  for  when  Christ  comes  into  the  heart,  indeed,  he  comes 
with  his  power.  Ps.  xxiv.  7,  8,  "  The  Lord  of  host^,  mighty  in 
hattk."    "  His  flesh  is  meat  indeed."  Col.  i.  29.     Christ's  power, 
works  in  a  man  mightily.     If  you  enjoy  never  such  comfort,  but 
find  not  a  power  in  pulling  down  thy  lusts,  there  is  no  Christ. 
If  a  man  be  sick,  and  he  eats  his  meat,  and  great  care  be  had 
to  tend  him,  but  the  disease  is  stronger  than  the  strength  of  na- 
tare  and  food,  ask  him,  Do  you  eat  ?     Yes,  but  it  doth  me  no 
good ;  so  here.     Such  comfort,  such  a  Christ  doth  you  no  good, 
onless  you  feel  a  power.     O,  long  to  meet  Christ  and  enjoy 
Christ  thus. 
Quest,  How  shall  I  do  this  ? 

Ans.  1.  Mourn  bitterly  for  the  Lord's  absence,  as  for  one  of 
the  greatest  evils  that  can  befall  thee.  For  Christ's  presence  will 
never  be  sweet  to  him  that  can  live  without  him  ;  and  can  you 
look  for  him  then?  John  xvi.  22,  "You  have  now  sorrow 
which,**  he  said,  "  filled  their  hearts,  but  I  will  see  you  again," 
visit  you,  come  down  to  you  by  my  Spirit  again,  and  you  shall 
rejoice,  and  none  shall  take  it  away.  And,  therefore,  it  is  noted, 
the  first  that  had  comfort  was  Mary,  when  she  sat  at  the  sepul- 
cher  weeping.  John  xx.  11,  etc  And,  therefore,  do  but  observe 
your  own  hearts,  when  your  hearts  have  been  soaked  in  grief, 
for  want  of  or  for  the  absence  of  Christ ;  O,  I  have  lived  with- 
out him,  and  prayed  without  him,  and  heard  without  him,  and 
spoke  without  him,  him  that  hath  pitied  mc,  spared  mo,  over- 
come me,  laid  down  his  life,  sent  his  Spirit  to  me — that  then 
yoo  shall  more  or  less  see  the  Lord,  and  feel  the  power  and 
presence  of  the  Lord.  O,  beloved,  shall  not  heaven  be  sweet  to 
you  without  him  ?  and  shall  earth  be  sweeter  than  heaven,  that 
you  can  live  here  without  him  ?  Beloved,  whatever  you  account 
of  it  now,  in  hell  the  sting  of  all  sorrows  shall  be  this  —  O,  Christ 
hides  his  face !  One  frown  shall  be  more  bitter  than  death,  than 
a  thousand  deaths  ;  and  shall  it  be  so  in  hell  ?  and  shall  not  many 
frowns  many  days  be  more  bitter  than  death  ?  Shall  it  be  so  to 
devils,  and  not  to  saints  ?  Shall  the  hiding  of  Christ's  face  from 
enemies  be  heavy,  and  shall  not  his  friends  take  it  to  heart  ?  If 
you  do  not,  then  think  not  to  meet  him,  but  that  word  and 
prayer  shall  be  dead  drink  to  thee  ;  but  if  you  do,  I  tell  thee,  if 
he  manifests  himself  to  any,  he  will  reveal  himself  to  thee. 

15* 


I  ■ 

r 


174  THE   PARABLE   OF 

2.  Prize  and  love  his  presence,  liis  face,  the  lifting  np  of  ibe 
light  of  his  countenaDce.  Princes  will  not  come;  or  if  they  do, 
not  Gtaj  1  or  if  they  perceive  their  company  is  a  burden,  and 
nnt  esteemed ;  no  more  will  the  Lord  Jcsue.     Thoy  that  are 

I  fallen  in  love  together  will  find  out  each  other,  though  it  he  at 
Iniidnight;  prize  Christ'a  company,  and  you  will  not  complain 
for  want  of  time,  and  say  you  can  not ;  but  you  will  find  him 
I  out  in  word,  in  prayers,  though  others  be  fast  asleep.  M!att.  siti. 
|44j  When  the  man  "sells  all,"  now  he  "buys  the  Held,"  has  it, 
^Ha  enjoys  it.  You  would  have  the  Lord's  compimy;  I  believe 
you  ;  but  what  will  you  give  for  it  ?  I  will  tell  you.  It  may 
be  you  will  give  him  ihc  hearing  for  it,  and  give  him  a  few  good 
wishes,  and  a  few  good  words,  and  a  little  leisure.  But  will  yon 
turn  the  whole  world  behind  your  back,  and  whatever  you  have 
out  of  doors,  that  he  may  come  in?  That  now  it  is  not  honor,  nor 
wealth,  nor  life,  nor  ease,  nor  heaven,  but  him,  and  that  not  only 
in  heaven,  but  in  his  swoddling-clouts,  his  ordinances  here ;  be- 
lieve it,  solvation  is  at  your  doors.  Zaecheus,  being  a  low  man 
of  stature,  gets  out  of  the  crowd,  stands  in  the  way,  and  Uie 
Lord  bids  him  come  down.  Do  thus  when  you  eome  to  any 
ordinance ;  I  IcU  you,  it  is  better  than  a  host  of  angels  com- 
passing thee  about  with  praises.  O  that  you  hail  the  life  of  ex- 
perience !  Ilitst  thou  not  found  him  better  than  friends,  than 
means,  than  thyself?     O  that  you  would  believe  experience  I 

3.  Make  it  not  your  task,  but  your  trade,  to  look  for  him,  that 
you  may  enjoy  him  here.  >Iake  this  your  business.  Men  make 
it  not  their  main  business  to  seek  out  Christ,  but  only  some  woi^ 
they  must  despatch  by  the  by.  Tbey  make  it  not  their  trade, 
but  their  talk,  which  must  be  done.  Esau  would  have  the  bless- 
ing, but  it  is  his  hunting  thai  he  delights  in.  You  shall  have  a 
man  that  is  a  close  worldling  come  and  hear  and  joy  therein ; 
but  his  trade,  his  heart  is  after  that.  Ezek.  xixiii.  31.  Look 
but  on  a  Christian  at  his  first  conversion  ;  wliat  great  gains  gels 
he  then  ?  O,  it  is  his  trade  to  tbllow  the  Lord ;  afterward  he  is 
idle,  and  then  feels  little.  Abilt.  xiii.  46.  Like  a  merchant,  he 
ventures  all,  and  then  finds.  Now,  you  sliatl  find  him.  Heb.  xi. 
6.  "  He  is  the  rewarder,"  not  of  thcra  that  "  seek  him  "  slug- 
gishly, but  "  diligently."  What  do  you  elae  seek  for  ?  "  Why 
spend  your  money  for  that  which  is  not  bread?"  Or  if  there 
be  aught  else  that  is  necessary,  let  ihy  care  be  for  him,  and  his 
care  shall  be  for  thee. 

4.  Look  before  thou  comest  to  an  ordinance,  if  there  be  n 
lust,  no  stumbling-block  of  initjuity  that  thou  harboresi  i 
heart,  or  sufferest  to  remain  in  the  sight  of  God.  la.  lix. 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  175 

I  We  known  in  experience,  and  seen  it  in  Scripture,  of  God's 

people  and  others  have  taken  on  that  Grod  hides  his  face,  etc 

And  this  has  been  found  to  be  the  cause,  either  some  sin  not 

jet  sabdaed  or  mortified,  or  some  sin  that  they  have  not  gone 

for  pardon  of  to  the  blood  of  Christ,  and  so  unpardoned.     When 

both  these  have  been  removed,  the  Lord  has  appeared.  Exod. 

xxi?.  10.    After  the  covenant  made  by  blood,  ^'  they  saw  the 

God  of  Israel."     Ezek.  xiv.  3,  "  Should  I  be  inquired  of  by 

them  that  set  the  stumbling-block  of  their  iniquities  ?  **  etc    Come, 

therefore,  to  an  ordinance,  that  the  Lord  would  take  away  thy 

no;  do  not  come  to  it  that  you  may  be  comforted  in  your  sin, 

to  that,  though  there  be  sin  in  your  heart,  yet  the  Lord  will  not 

cast  that  in  thy  dish,  when  thou  comest  to  him  to  take  it  away. 

It  may  be  you  know  none.     ^  You  know  not  what  spirit  you  are 

of.''    Get  the  Lord  to  discover  it  thee. 

5.  O,  be  thankful,  and  cleave  the  closer  to  Christ  for  a  little. 
For  that  is  the  infinite  mercy  and  love  of  Christ  to  his  people, 
he  lets  them  see  their  end,  the  hight  of  grace  and  glory  the 
Lord  will  bring  them  to ;  but  makes  them  feel  the  want  of  it, 
and  taste  but  a  little  but  the  first  fruits.  Now,  there  is  Satan's 
policy  to  make  them  slight  what  they  have,  because  they  have 
not  what  they  would  have.  Hence,  Christ  estranges  himself 
greatly.  •  Do  you  thus  despise  my  love  ?  O,  therefore,  cleave 
close  to  him  for  that  little,  and  then  see,  (John  i.  50,)  '^  Thou  shalt 
see  greater  things  than  these,  —  the  Son  of  God,  and  angels  as- 
cending and  descending  on  him."  Think  that  I  feel  or  have  the 
sense  of  any  want  of  grace,  and  peace,  and  mercy,  and  Christ ; 
O,  it  is  mercy.  That  I  have  the  star,  O,  this  is  mercy,  this 
brought  them  to  Christ  himself  afterward.  O,  unthankfulness 
stops  God's  heart.  Grod  will  never  cease  pouring  out  on  thee 
that  art  pouring  out  praises  on  him ;  for  else  man's  kindness 
should  exceed  the  Lord's. 

Thus  you  see  the  means  ;  now  use  them,  and  long  for  the  Lord 
Jesus  in  them,  and  so  long  as  that  you  may  meet  him ;  and  do 
it  presently,  else  you  may  seek  and  not  find  him,  and  ^*  die  in 
your  sins."  John  viii.  21.     A  sad  and  heavy  speech./  Has  God] 
gjed  you  out  of  all  people  in  the  world  if}  fir\jfty  1^"»t  and  will 


you  now  torsake  him,  and  be  eaten  up  with  your  lots,  and  buried 
in  the  bellies  of  your  beasts,  or  sit  grieving  that  your  estates  are 
sunk  ?  It  may  be  hypocrites  will  forsake  the  Lord  Jesus,  but 
**  wiD  you  also  depart  ?  "  Others  care  not  for  him,  others  long 
not  after  him,  others  give  him  no  meeting ;  will  you  depart  ? 
*•  Lord,  to  whom  shall  we  go  ?  "  O,  and  long  for  more  of  him ; 
^  forget  what  is  behind,"  and  hear  and  pray  as  if  thou  never 


I 


ere  18  a  plot  ai 
ay  lofitlie  you. 


^L         troubit 
^H        pmycT 


176  TUE   PARAULG   OF 

didst  so  before,  as  if  but  now  lo  begin.     There  i  

make  ytm  loathe  ordiiiauLvs,  Ilint  so  God  mny  lontlie  you.  Men 
that  are  sick  and  like  to  die  can  eat  no  cammon  wliolesoine  meat, 
but  are  now  nourished  by  conserves,  and  alkermes,  and  spiriti 
of  gold ;  BO  when  wholesome  truths  of  God  are  despised,  men 
are  deadly  sick,  when  any  new-fangled  device  shall  feed  their 
fancy.  The  Lord  keep  you  fi-om  it.  O,  do  you  love  and  long 
for  the  Lord  in  them  the  more,  for  his  Spirit,  his  love,  his  traib, 
his  Christ,  liis  company,  his  graue,  his  consolations?  mid  ihea, 
when  death  comes,  you  shall  not  need  to  fear  it,  but  make  it  wel- 
come ;  and,  when  conscience  shall  ask,  Do  you  liiink  lo  be  with 
the  Lord  ?  O,  it  sliall  be  in  thy  bosom,  Lord,  thee  have  I 
longed  for,  tliee  have  I  sought  for,  wept  for  here,  because  I  could 
not  come  h>  thee  presently  in  heaven.  Now,  Lord,  let  me  come 
to  tlicc,  and  so  go  triumphing  to  glory. 

Section  VIL 

n»e  7,  Hence  we  see  no  Christian  ought  to  content  himself 
with  any  measure  of  knowledge  or  fellowship  with  the  Lord 
Jesus  here.  For  if  full,  perfect  and  immediate  fellowship  with 
him  in  heaven,  and  at  the  last  day,  ought  to  be  the  mark  be 
aims  at,  and  journey's  end  of  all  his  desires,  then  he  is  not  to 
ait  down  in  the  midway,  but  to  brcallie  and  aspire  aAer  e(JU 
more  and  more  of  liim.  Thus  Paul,  though  fully  sealed  widi 
the  Spirit,  yet  he  makes  this  his  mark.  Phil.  iii.  14-16;  1  Pet. 
f.  10-13.  The  apostle  tells  tliem,  the  prophet  looked  after  "  the 
grace  given  in"  their  times;  "thereforo  prd  up  your  loins,  and 
hope  perfectly  for  grace  to  be  given  you  at  the  revelation  of 
Christ  Jesus."  Men  lliat  have  preferment  in  their  eye,  and  are 
to  come  on  by  degrees  lo  it,  never  conleut  themselves  with  any 
(though  they  will  not  slight  what  they  have)  until  they  come  lo 
their  highest.  You  are  bom  lo  great  hopes ;  slight  not  wlmt  you 
have,  but  look  after  more.  2  Pet.  iii.  18. 

Hence  three  sorts  arc  to  be  greatly  blamed.  For  as  it  is  with 
sinful  lusts,  so  it  is  with  spiritual ;  ttiey  are  endless,  infinite,  and 
insatiable ;  if  they  want,  they  are  not  sadslied ;  if  they  havo, 
they  are  whet  on  in  their  appetites  after  more.     0,  let  it  be'Go 

f"^.  Some  there  be  that  are  so  far  from  thirsting  after  more  of 
I  him,  that  ihey  have  forsaken  his  fellowsliip,  and  lie  still,  content  it 
should  be  BO.  Time  was  horror  was  upon  Iheir  consciences, 
trouble  in  their  minds,  and  heat  of  affection  lasled,  that  their 
prayers  were  many,  their  loars  abundant ;  ihey  could  not  take 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  177 

their  rest  in  the  night,  but  pray  they  must ;  they  could  not  hear 
of  a  sermon  but  through  wet  and  dry  to  it ;  and  it  may  be  the 
I^rd  ''drew  them  with  the  cords  of  a  man,"  and  laid  meat  be- 
fore them,  and  sweetened  their  labors  with  great  hopes  to  them ; 
hot  the  Father  not  having  drawn  them  with  an  invincible  power, 
and  knit  them  by  an  indissoluble  union  to  Christ,  they  are  now  I 
fiJlenoff  from  Christ.  John  vi.  66. /And  if  you  observe  it,  hej  " 
loob  not  after  them,  speaks  not  one  word  to  them,  because  con- 
tent to  be  without  him.  Would  to  Grod  this  were  not  the  tem- 
pers of  saints  that  know  it  was  better  with  you  once  than  now, 
Md  God  "  hedgeth  your  way  with  thorns,"  and  gives  you  no 
fest.  But,  O,  the  grievous  wrecks  of  professors.  One  can  see 
some  boards  and  planks  at  low  water,  but  that  is  alL  Jer.  ii.  13, 
H.  The  Lord  will  fetch  you  home  if  he  loves  you,  by  weeping 
cross.  ...^ 

2.  Some  there  are  that  fall  not  to  forsake  the  Lord,  but  like 
the  door  on  the  hinge,  and  wheel  on  the  pin,  hang  and  turn 
about  where  they  did.     This  Grod*s  own  people  are  very  apt  to 
do,  and  hence  the  apostle  wisheth  them  to  take  heed  of  it,  from 
a  dreadful  argument.  Heb.  vi.  4-7. 

First,  Because  the  Lord  at  first  conversion  draws  his  people 
sweetly,  drives  them  gently ;  being  weak  and  young  infants,  as 
yet  keeps  them  in  his  arms,  that  they  may  find  a  greater  good 
in  him  than  in  the  world ;  but  afterward  he  suffers  Satan  to 
tempt,  himself  deserts  them,  leads  through  a  wilderness  of  sins 
and  miseries,  that  they  may  know  what  is  in  their  own  hearts. 
Hence,  now,  if  they  will  have  mercy,  they  must  fetch  it,  fight 
for  it,  and  overcome.  Now,  hence  sloth  is  apt  to  prevail  for  a 
time,  as  with  the  disciples. 

Secondly,  Because,  before  they  have  Christ,  they  feel  a  total 
want,  afterward  but  a  partial,  and  hence  apt  to  be  full  and  self- 
confident  in  what  they  have,  their  stomachs  are  staid  by  some 
bits,  and  hence  the  Lord  is  fain  to  withdraw  the  feeling  of  all 
that  which  they  had  before,  that  they,  feeling  how  soon  that 
vanishes,  might  hunger  after  more  ;  as  the  disciples  could  have 
been  content  with  Christ's  being  upon  earth  with  them,  then 
saith  he,  "The  Spirit  will  not  come;"  hence  away  he  goes,  that 
they  might  have  more  of  him  in  the  Spirit  But  this  is  too  com- 
mon with  many  hypocrites. 

1.  When  men  serve  their  turn  of  Christ.  There  is  never  a 
hypocrite  living  but  closeth  with  Christ  for  his  own  ends ;  for 
he  can  not  work  beyond  his  principle.  Now,  when  men  have 
0erved  their  own  turns  out  of  another  man,  away  they  go,  and 
keep  that  which  they  have.  }  A  hypocrite  closeth  with  Christ^ 


1^    lie 


I 


'&s  a  man  with  a  rich  shop  ;  lie  will  not  be  at  cost  to  buy  all 
shop, but  so  niucb  a:3  senea  bis  turn. /  Commonly, men  ir  " 
■ffiek  for  so  much  of  Chrisl  as  will  ease  them,  and  hence  _ 
and  hence  seek  for  so  much  of  Christ  as  will  credit  them, 
hence  their  desires  after  Christ  are  soon  satisfied.     Appelitwt\ 
jinit  eat  injimlm.  *' 

2.  No  hypocrite,  though  he  closcih  with  Christ,  and  for  k' 
time  grow  up  in  knowledge  of  and  communion  with  Christ,  but 
he  hath  at  (bat  time  hidden  lusts,  and  thorns  that  oTcr^T'ow  his 
growings,  and  choke  all  at  last;  and  in  conclusion  mediates  a 
let^e  between  Christ  and  big  lusts,  and  seeks  to  reconcile  them 
together.  Christ  saith.  Out  with  every  lust,  and  let  more  of  mj"' 
self  come.  No,  saJth  sin,  let  me  slay  here ;  remember  what  easej 
what  honor  I  hring  you ;  I  can  not  leave  you.  Now,  a  man  mod* 
eratea ;  I  will  keep  my  lust,  because  I  love  it ;  but  I  will  keep 
it  as  my  burden,  that  I  may  have  Christ  with  it.  Christ  callt' 
to  seek  for  more  of  him ;  lust  saith.  No  ;  the  work  is  hard,  aii^ 
duties  are  difficult.  And  it  is,  it  may  be,  to  no  purpose  to  seek  f. 
you  have  other  irons  in  the  Gre,  many  worldly  businesses.  NoM^ 
here  men  moderate ;  do  not  say  thou  wilt  seek  no  more  afle^, 
him,  nor,  indeed,  use  means  diligently  for  more  of  him ;  be  sunij 
only  you  give  him  some  desires  to  be  better,  and  this  will  scrwr 
the  turn.  The  X«rd  Jesus  wooes  many  a  soul  whom  he  never 
matches  himself  unto ;  one  comes  and  wins  the  heart  afterward, 
and  makes  the  match ;  so  hero.  The  lusts  of  a  man's  heart 
grow  sweeter  than  Christ  and  his  ordinances,  and  hence  there  is 
no  heart  to  seek  after  more  of  Christ  when  the  match  ia  once, 
made  with  the  world,  and  affections  won.  2  Tim.  iv. 

3.  Some  seek  for  more  of  Christ,  hut  it  is  of  an  idol  CI 
not  as  manifesting  himself  in  and  by  a  word.  For  look  as  any 
act  of  obedience  is  an  actof  will-worship  and  imagery,  that  we 
have  not  a  particular  demand  for,  or  is  not  directly  deducted 
from  rule  in  the  word  ^o  that  act  of  faith  is  an  act  of  will-wor- 
ship, which  sees  and  chooses  Christ  as  his  own,  when  he  has  not 
a  particular  promise  for  it ;  it  is  an  imagination  of  Christ, 
Christ ;  and  you  have  more  of  your  own  imagination,  not  n 
of  the  Lord  Jesus.  1  Pel.  i.  25.  Slonks  had  sublime  contempl 
tions  of  God.  Luther  calls  them  such  as  looked  upon  a  Dt 
C/iristibia  absotiilus,  not  beholding  the  beams  of  his  love 
glory  in  the  word.  O,  therefore,  labor  for  more  of 
Christ  as  ibe  word  holds  forth.     And  look  as  in  heaven, 

First.  They  arc  nil  one  wiih  him  in  fellowship,  the  Fall 
in  him,  and  he  in  them,  and  they  in  liim,  and  so  raaile 


THB   TEN    VIUGINS.  179 

SeconUff.  They  have  his  fellowship  only.     So  do  you  long  for 

more  of  his  fellowship,  so  as  to  be  made  more  one  with  him  and 

lum  with  you,  so  as  he  may  be  your  strength  and  life  and  peace, 

and  for  his  fellowship  only  ;  otherwise  you  may  go  without  him 

at  last;  (Luke  ziii.  26,  27,)  <<  Have  we  not  eat  and  drank  in  thy 

presence?"  etc     The  JewsTbefore  Christ's  coming  had  Christ's 

presence  then,  but  a  greater  measure  of  it  is  given  to  the  church 

since  his  resurrection  and  glorification ;  for  it  was  reserved  to 

hoDor  Christ  in  his  first  coming.     But  how  many  are  there  that 

see  not  the  Lord  Jesus  so  as  they  did  under  vails  ?     Either  get 

inore,  or  say  Christ  is  not  risen.  John  xiv.  1 6.     Christ  promises 

to  send  his  disciples  another  Comforter.     Who  was  that  ?     The 

Spirit  £^  truth,  whom  the  world  could  not  receive,  because  it 

ineir  him  not.   Why,  had  the  disciples  no  Spirit  now  ?  Yes ;  he 

was  in  them,  but  not  that  full  measure  with  which  they  were  not 

as  jet  sealed ;  yet  they  knew  they  had  him,  and  that  Christ  was 

theirs  too.     So  hast  thou  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  Jesus  ?     O,  beg 

for  more  of  it,  not  for  miraculous  giHs,  for  that  is  in  vain  ;  but 

more  of  the  special  powerful  presence  and  fullness  of  it ;  for  it 

is  that  the  world  can  not  receive.     I  have  oil  feared  that  it  is 

the  great  sin  of  this  last  age  to  comfort  and  settle  Christians  in 

their  weak   beginnings,   as    though   there   were   no    more  of 

God's  Spirit  to  be  poured  down  in  times  of  the  gospel.     But 

consider,  — 

First,  What  came  you  into  this  wilderness  to  see  ?     Reecfsj 
shaken  with  the  wind  ?     No ;  for  more  of  the  Lord  Jesus ;  and  I 
will  you  now  forget  the  end  for  which  you  come  ?   It  may  be  you  J 
never  found  less ;  no,  but  Grod  is  emptying  of  you,  that  you  might 
seek  for  more.     Herod  a  long  time  desired  to  see  Jesus,  and  then 
despised  him. 

Secondly.  You  have  here  more  means  to  have  fellowship  with 
the  Lord,  and  will  you  content  yourself  with  what  you  have  had  ? 
If  you  do,  what  can  you  look  for,  but  that  the  Lord  should  take 
away  ordinances,  if  they  do  you  no  more  good,  and  ease  you  of 
the  burden  of  the  Lord  of  hosts,  or  send  sore  and  heavy  trials  ? 
It  is  that  I  have  oft  thought  of,  why  are  the  wicked  exalted  and 
saints  debased?  The  worst  are  not  bad  enough  to  receive 
their  plagues,  nor  the  best  good  enough  to  partake  of  blessings. 
You  have  had  some  means  to  do  you  some  good  ;  here  you  have 
more,  that  you  may  receive  more  good,  more  life,  more  of  Christ 
Jesus  ;  if  not,  then  look  for  fire  to  purge  you  if  you  be  gold,  or 
flames  to  devour  you  if  you  be  but  rottenness  and  stubble.  But  is 
this  thus  ?  The  Jews  did  long  for  Christ,  and  when  he  came  they 
crucified  him :  they  loved  the  prophets  ;  they  shall  have  prophets 


f 


180 


:  FABABLE  or 


I 


and  their  blood  too,  to  A\ay  them.  You  love  the  roi^ssengerB  of 
Christ,  etc. ;  they  have  them,  Lord,  but  despise  ihetn ;  thej  havt 
them,  but  condemn  them;  they  hiive  Ihem,  and  though  they  will  not 
cast  them  out  of  their  places,  yet  Ihcy  willso  weary  tbeir  spirits,  and 
grieve  thy  Spirit  ui  them,  that  Ihey  will  make  them  glad  to  bury 
themselves  and  leave  their  places.  You  shall  have  prophets  and 
tlieir  hlood,  too,  aud  their  tears  and  sorrows,  loo.  But  why  do  I 
complain  ?  Let  me  perauade.  O,  labor  for  more  ol'  Christ  in 
his  Gervants,  in  his  ordinances,  iu  his  providences,  in  bis  saints, 
until,  at  last,  thy  denires  break  thy  vessel,  and  carry  thee  up  to 
behold  the  Lord  in  heaven.  If  there  were  never  saving  work 
of  grace  wrought,  but  thou  hast  only  rested  in  duties  without 
Clxrist,  now  sell  thyself  out  of  all  for  him.  If  there  be  any  that 
the  Lord  has  settled  there  on  his  promise,  which  never  can  be 
shaken,  hold  your  steadfas.tness,  but  yet  still  grow  in  grace,  and  in 
the  knowledge  of  the  Lord  Jesus. 

Section  Vni. 

I  Utflh-Of^SeAwt.  O,  long  to  be  with  the  Lord  Jesus  !  Be' 
fore  a  man  has  Christ,  now  his  desires  should  be  to  have  him  ; 
when  he  has  Clirisi,  now  his  longing  should  be  to  be  with  liim. 
Do  ihus  in  this  place,  especially  in  this  age.  I  liave  oft  tliougU 
one  great  end  of  Glod's  bringing  his  own  people  into  this  plaM 
b  to  learn  them  to  die  and  be  wilh  Christ.  Men  have  heard  of 
Christ,  and  passed  through  the  waves  of  death,  and  stood  manT 
a  week  within  six  inches  of  death  to  see  Christ  here.  WeU^ 
when  yon  come  here,  Clod  visits  you  with  troubles,  temptatioii^: 
losses,  desertions,  fears  for  future  times.  Here  it  may  be  yoO 
'  see  (as  some  see)  an  "  end  of  all  perfection,"  church  buildierm; 
church  ordinances,  church  professors,  etc. ;  or,  if  they  find  Uis 

I  Lord,  it  is  soon  gone  ;  why,  oU  b  that  you  miglit  long  to  he  at 

[home. 

Motive  1.  The  Lord  when  he  called  Ahrahnm  out  of  his  own 
country  to  his  friends,  he  followed  the  Lord  he  knew  not  whithen' 
You  live  now  out  of  your  father's  house  and  from  all  j 
friends  that  long  to  see  you ;  nay,  arc  lefl  among  enemies, 
you  know  whither  you  are  to  go  — "to  God,  the  Judge  of  all. 
to  an  innumerable  company  of  augcls,  and  to  the  spirits  of  just 
men  made  perfect" 

MoHve  2,  Look  but  upon  tlie  men  of  this  world ;  they  long 
for  things  here,  thougli  but  temporal,  though  they  have  no  Chriab 
0,  long  for  this,  though  thou  hast  no  world. 

MoUoa  3.  ^Vhen  Chrisl  would  needs  go  to  Jerusalem, 


G  no^/nnfl^_ 
alem,  (JtJi^B 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  181 

xL  16,)  saith  Thomas,  ^  Let  us  go  and  die  with  him,"  and  shall 
Bot  we  go  to  live  with  him  ? 

Motive  4.  Did  Moses  forsake  Egypt's  honors,  treasures,  and 
embraced  the  reproach  of  Christ,  as  far  better?  O,  if  Grod 
ihoold  set  thee  up  in  a  throne,  O,  depart  from  it  to  enjoj  the 
glorj  of  Christ  himself  in  glory. 

Motive  5.  Grant  death  be  dreadful,  yet  when  soldiers  see  their 
captain  upon  the  walls,  among  the  enemies,  they  will  press  hard 
afier  to  follow,  though  they  die  in  the  breach.  To  part  with 
sb  is  bitter,  or  to  part  with  Christ ;  but  to  part  with  the  body  - 
for  a  time,  and  cast  off  the  clothes,  this  will  be  found  to  be  ex- 
ceeding sweet. 

Motive  6.  Friends  that  send  to  us,  and  provide  for  us  in  a 
desert  place,  we  long  to  see  them.  Now,  who  has  clothed  thee, 
comforted,  pardoned,  revived,  found  thee,  kept  thee,  that  nothing 
^h  hurt  thee ;  nay,  that  thy  sins  have  humbled  thee,  and  done 
thee  good  ?  O,  it  is  Christ  Wilt  thou  not  say,  Who  and  where 
k  be  that  doth  all  this  ? 

Motive  7.  O,  consider  how  glad  the  Lord  Jesus  will  be  of 
tbee,  though  the  world  and  thou  art  weary  of  thyself.  Zeph.  iii. 
17.  Luke  X.  21,  "  I  thank  thee,  O  Father."  So  will  the  Lord 
BtLj  then. 

Afecms  1.  Labor  for  assurance  that  Christ  is  thine,  else  you 
will  fear  death  and  hell  that  follows  it ;  and  such  an  assurance 
as  does  not  only  chase  away  vexation  and  auguish  of  spirit,  but 
fears,  at  least,  in  the  power  of  them  ;  for  there  is  many  a  Chris- 
tian can  find  the  proposition  true  in  the  world, ''  He  tfiat  comes 
to  Christ  he  will  not  cast  away."  The  Spirit  clears  Grod's  work 
and  his  own  experience,  and  saith,  "Thou  comest  imto  Christ" 
Now,  when  he  comes  to  make  the  conclusion,  though  he  dares 
not  sin  against  clear  light  and  evidence  of  the  Spirit,  and  con- 
clude, "  Yet  I  shall  be  cast  away,"  yet  he  dares  not,  nor  can 
not,  for  a  time,  conclude  fully.  Why  ?  Because  of  some  fears. 
What  if  I  should  be  mistaken,  and  when  I  die  all  prove  nought?  \ 
And  while  this  fear  lasts,  you  will  not  long  (till  needs  must)  to^ 
be  with  Christ ;  for  while  you  fear  or  suspect  Christ  as  an  ene- 
my, you  will  not  heartily  love  him,  nor  long  to  be  with  him ; 
therefore  get  these  fears  removed. 
Quett.  How  may  this  be  ? 

Ans.  (Rom.  viii.  15,  16,)  By  the  Spirit  of  adoption  only ;  for 
though  I  do  not  exclude  the  work  of  sanctified  reason  from  the 
witness  of  the  Spirit,  yet  this  I  say,  that  all  the  men  in  the 
world,  nor  all  the  wisdom  and  reason  of  man,  can  never  chase 
away  all  fears,  scatter  all  mists,  till  the  Spirit  itself  saith,  Peace, 
VOL.  u.  16 


I 


I 


^Ilnd  be  still,  and  puts  its  hand  anil  seal  to  tlie  evidence  if  till  the 
Spirit,  not  by  an  audible,  but  powerful  voice,  shows  ind  per- 
Biiades.  Acta  xii.  13-16.  They  had  been  praying  for  Peler; 
Peter  knocks  ;  the  damsel  saitb,  Feter  is  there.  Now,  see  their 
unbelief  after  such  a  mighty  spirit  of  prayer:  "It  is  his  angel," 
Bay  they,and  could  not  be  persuaded  till  he  came  in  and  showed 
himself.  So  the  soul  is  praying;  a  man's  own  spirit  goes  out, 
and  sees  there  is  more  unbelief  and  fear ;  say,  No ;  it  is  a  de- 
lusion.  Well,  the  Spirit  still  knocks,  and  the  soul  opens,  and 
then  he  comes  in,  and  the  soul  is  astonished.  And,  that  yoa 
may  have  it,  — 

1.  See  there  be  no  guilt  upon  thy  conscience,  no  reserratioi^  J 
love,  liking  to  some  lust    Hcb.  x.  22.     For  these  feare  are  cot 
monly  the  fruit  of  guilt  which  ia  not  washed  aivay,  but  ■'  by  tl 
blood  of  sprinkhng." 

2.  Pray  for  the  Spirit,  (Pa.  Uxxv.  4-9,)  say  they;  1.  "Torn 
us  from  sin.     2.  Turn  from  thy  wrath ;     when  the  Father  is 
angry,  then  no  good  word.     3.  The  end,  "  That  our  hearts  may 
rejoice  in  thee.    4.  Show  ua  mercy."     5.  Then  they  come  to  . 
listen  after  it ;  for  many  tinaes  a  friend  speaks  not,  because  Iw  ■ 
has  us  not  alone.  j 

3.  Mourn  heavily  for  want  of  it,  (Ps.  li.  8,)  and  so  look  fbc  ' 

Mearu  2.  Labor  to  partake  of  Ihe  fellowship  of  Christ's  res- 
urrection, else  no  desires  con  be  raised  up.    Col.  iii.  1,  2. 

Qaeit.  What  ia  that? 

Atu.  Look,  as  we  then  have  fellowship  with  Christ,  and  with 
the  church  in  miseries,  when  we,  from  the  serious  apprehension 
of  their  sorrows,  condole  and  suffer  with  them,  so  with  Christ  in 
glory,  when,  from  serious  deep  apprehensions  of  hie  gloiy,ve 
reign  with  him,  we  are  risen  "with  him ;  for  let  a  man  be  aasured 
Christ  is  not  his,  if  he  knowa  not  what  the  worth  and  glory  of 
his  fellowship  is,  a  man  will  then  never  long  to  be  wilh  him.  0, 
therefore,  labor  to  comprehend  this  glory  of  the  Lord  Jesiu, 
and  that  by  the  Spirit  of  revcktion.  Eph.  i.  17,  18.  The  word 
reveals  the  glory  of  saints,  that  there  is  a  kingdom,  that  thoy 
shall  be  "  perfect  in  one,"  that  they  shall  have  that  glory  the 
Father  has  given  to  Ciirist.  John  xvii.  22.  O,  get  the  Spirit  to 
show  thee  the  thing  what  this  is,  else  something  in  the  world 
will  make  you  look  hack.  There  are  false  spies,  that  vilify 
God's  kingdom  to  his  saints.  O,  say  it  is  a  good  God,  and  coun- 
try, and  Christ,  and  mercy,  aud  love  i  "  let  me  go  up  and  p 
it"     O,  get  the  Lord  to  give  thee  but  one  glimpse  of  this. 

Thus  much  of  the  first  verse. 


poeseai 


THE  TEN  YIROIKS.  183 


CHAPTER  Xm. 

raOWDTG  THAT  THERE  ARE   HYPOCRITES   IN  THE   BEST  AND 

FUREST   CHURCHES. 

'  er.  2.  And  Jive  of  them  were  wise,  and  Jive  were  foolUh, 

Section  I. 

From  this  second  verse  to  the  fifth  there  is  set  down  the  dif- 
ference appearing  between  the  virgins,  wherein  the  Lord,  the 
wareher  of  hearts,  makes  an  open  discovery  of  the  particular 
estates  of  these  virgins,  for  all  the  best  churches  especially  to 
take  notice  of,  to  the  second  coming  of  the  Lord  Jesus.    This 
difference  is  set  down,  — 

1.  Generally,  in  this  second  verse. 

2.  Particularly,  in  the  third  and  fourth  verses. 
L  Grenerally,  in  this  verse. 

1.  That  some  of  them  were  sincere  and  wise-hearted,  to  the 
number  of  five. 

2.  Others  of  them  were  foolish  and  false-hearted,  to  the  num- 
ber of  five  more.  So  that  the  sum  is  this :  one  half  of  them 
were  indeed  virgins,  another  half  were  in  appearance  virgins ; 
the  one  part  were  virgins  in  the  sight  of  God,  who  saith  they 
are  wise  ;  the  other  were  so  in  the  judgment  of  man,  and  hence 
called  foolish  ones.  In  this  general  description,  therefore,  of 
them,  we  may  note,  — 

FirsL  Their  description  from  the  number  of  each  sort,  viz., 

Secondly,  From  their  different  qualities  or  qualifications  —  holy 
wisdom  or  prudence  in  the  one,  sinful  folly  in  the  other.  He 
docs  not  say  fiy^  were  holy  and  five  profane  ;  five  were  friends 
to  the  bridegroom,  1^\ii  were  persecutors  of  him  ;  but  "five  were 
wLee  and  fiv^  were  foolish."  Why  the  virgins  are  described  by 
the  number  of  ten,  I  spake  before ;  either  because  it  was  a  per- 
fect number,  and  so  signifies  the  estate  of  all  virgin  churches, 
or  because  it  was  the  custom  not  to  exceed  the  number  of  ten,  to 
honor  them  at  their  marriage.  Now,  why  five  of  them  were  wise, 
and  ^\e  foolish,  as  though  the  one  half  of  them  only  were  sin- 
cere, the  other  false,  this  seems  to  carry  the  face  of  truth  ;  but  I 
am  fearful  to  rack  and  torment  parables,  wherein  I  chiefly  look 
unto  the  scope,  and  that  is  this,  that  not  one  or  two,  but  a  great 
part  of  them  were  sincere,  and  a  great  part  of  them  false.     And 


184  THE  PARABLE   OF 

hence  the  observatioiis  out  of  these  words  are  these,  omittiog 
all  the  rest 

Ohserv.  1.  That  when  the  churches  of  Clirist  Jesus  profre 
virgin  churches,  and  are  most  pure,  jet  even  then  there  wiU  be 
Bome  secret  hypocrites  thaf  shall  mingle  themselves  with  thenu 
Or  there  will  be  a  number  of  hypocrites  mingling  themselves 
with  the  purest  churches. 

Ohserv.  2.  That  when  the  churches  are  virgin  churches,  the 
hypocrites  in  those  times  will  be  evangclicaL  Or  the  secret 
hypocrites  of  pure  churches  are  evangelicaL 

Ohserv.  3.  That  there  are  certain  special,  saving  qualifications 
of  heart,  whereby  arises  a  great  internal  difference  between  sin* 
cere-hearted  virgins  and  the  closest  hypocrite. 

Ohserv.  4.  That  the  spring,  or  one  main  principle  of  evangel- 
ical sincerity  or  hypocrisy,  lies  in  the  understandii^  or  nund 
of  man. 

Section  n. 

Ohserv.  1.  That  there  is  and  will  be  a  mixture  of  dose  hypo- 
crites with  the  wise-hearted  virgins  in  the  purest  churches. 

This  I  might  manifest  out  of  several  scriptures,  from  several 
times.  Look  but  upon  Josias's  time,  when  there  was  as  great  a 
reformation  as  under  any  king  before  him,  (2  Kings  xxiii.  25  ;) 
yet  Jer.  iii.  10,  and  iv.  3,  4.  Look  on  the  aposUe's  time,  and 
what  apostasy  afterward.  The  apostle  complained  of  it,  "  Every 
one  seek  their  own."  Phil.  ii.  21.  "  JVIany  walk,"  etc,  (PhiL 
iii.  18,  19,)  whom  he  could  not  think  on  "without  tears."  The 
mystery  of  iniquity  began  to  work  even  then.  Christ  manifests 
this  by  divers  parables;  (Matt.  xxii.  14,)  "  Many  are  called," 
and  so  called  as  to  come  in,  and  so  sit^  and  not  to  be  known  tiU 
the  Lord  looks  on  them.  And  here  the  wise-hearted  could  not 
discern  and  keep  out,  but  opened  the  door  for  the  five  foolish. 
Look  as  it  is  said,  (Job  i.  6,)  ^^  There  was  a  day  the  sons  of  God 
presented  themselves  before  the  Lord,  and  Satan  came  in  also ; " 
so  here.  I  shall  not,  do  not  speak  of  every  particular  church, 
but  of  the  state  of  the  churches  in  general.  For  it  is  possible 
there  may  be  a  Philadelphia,  "  a  new  Jerusalem  which  comes 
down  from  heaven,"  a  "golden  foundation,"  and  for  a  time  "no 
hay  nor  stubble  built  upon  it."  But  this  is  rare,  and  not  osoal 
nor  general. 

Section  IIL 

Reason  1.  From  Satan,  the  ancient  enemy  of  the  purity  of 
the  church  ;  he  being  an  unclean  creature  himself,  if  he  could  be 


THE  TEN  YIROINS.  185 

• 

would  make  heaven  itself  unclean  ;  but  that  is  beyond  his  reach ; 
hence  he  seeks  to  make  heaven  on  earth  unclean  ;  hence  he  will 
get  into  paradise,  and  if  he  can  not  come  in.  the  shape  of  a  man, 
yet  in  that  of  a  serpent  to  beguile  and  pollute  innocency  there. 
He  will  follow  Christ  intd  the  wilderness,  and  tempt  him  there, 
and  hence  will  seek  to  get  into  churches,  to  pollute  them.  And 
if  he  can  not  pollute  the  church  by  unclean  ordinances,  he  will 
then  seek  to  defile  it  by  unclean  persons.  Matt  xiii.  25.  The 
Ures  be  in  Judea  like  the  wheat,  yet  indeed  annoy  the  wheat. 
And  how  come  they  here  ?  They  are  sown  there,  i.  e.,  hid  for  a 
time,  and  mingled,  and  die  there,  too.  Who  does  this  ?  Why, 
the  enemy  did  it,  so  that  Satan  will  do  it.  If  there  be  a  devil  in 
the  church,  he  will  sow  his  tares. 
Ohject,^  But  we  see  him  not 

Am.  No;  it  is  therefore  said  "  he  went  away ; "  his  care  is  over ; 

now  they  are  sown.     Look  as  it  is  the  Jesuits'  policy,  at  this  day, 

the  end  of  their  order  is  to  raise  up  the  collapsed  ruins  of  Home, 

wid  to  bring  all  Christendom —  and  if  it  be  possible  all  the  world 

^to  the   hellish  bondage  and  blind  obedience  of  the  see  of 

Rome.     Hence  some  kingdoms,  because  they  can  not  conquer 

them  by  power,  they  seek  to  do  it  by  craft ;  hence  they  seek  to 

ky  their  leaven  and  make  their  party  within,  from  whom  they 

may  liave  intelligence,  and  hence  they  shall  do  well  enough  with 

them.     So  Satan,  seeking  the  ruin  of  the  church,  seeks  to  make 

his  party  within  the  church,  for  one  of  these  three  ends  chiefly. 

1-  Either  that  he  may  divide  the  church,  tliat  when  any  error 

sliall  be  hatched,  he  may  have  his  party  to  maintain  it,  and  his 

faction  to  plead  for  it.     Or,  — 

2.  That  he  may  corrupt  it,  if  he  can  not  divide  it,  that  the 
tares  may  suck  out  the  heart,  and  life,  and  power  of  godliness  in 
the  hearts  of  the  elect ;  for  you  know  it  is  not  the  brier,  but  the 
ivy,  that  sucks  out  the  life  and  sap  of  the  tree ;  and  it  is  not  pro- 
fane, pricking  persecutors,  but  seeming  friends  to  the  church,  that 
8uck  out  the  heart  and  life  of  it  It  was  not  Jeroboam's  great- 
ness, but  the  old  prophet's  gravity  and  seeming  piety  that  sucked 
out  the  spirit  and  sap  of  the  young  prophet.  1  Kings  xiii.  That 
so  by  this  little  leaven  he  may  defile  the  whole  lump,  and  so 
provoke  wrath  against  them  all. 

3.  If  he  can  not  do  either,  yet  that  he  may  blur  and  stain  the 
glory  of  the  church  ;  for  the  greatest  glory  in  the  world  is  to  see 
a  temple  built,  not  of  stones,  or  gold,  or  pearl,  but  of  living 
precious  saints,  holy  to  the  I^rd  only  and  his  Son,  and  the  sight 
of  which  in  heaven  shall  be  one  part  of  the  glory  in  heaven. 
Hence  Satan  vrill  do  what  he  can  to  blur  it ;  that  though  the 

IG* 


186  THE   PARABLE   OF 

greatest  glory  God  has  shines  in  his  church,  jct  that  he  may 
blur  it :  and  hence  Jude  saith,  "  Some  that  crept  in  unawares 
were  spots  in  their  feasts ; "  and,  (2  Pet,  ii.  2,)  "  By  reaaon  of 
whom  the  way  of  truth  shall  be  evil  spoken  of." 

Reason  2.  From  the  officers  chiefly  of  a  church,  who,  when 
they  should  be  full  of  eyes,  as  they  are  described,  (Rev.  iv.,)  and 
these  eyes  should  be  ever  watching,  they  are  then  sleeping. 
Matt.  xiii.  25.  For  it  is  not  the  having,  so  much  as  the  acting 
of  grace  that  helps  men  to  read  and  understand  the  book  of  the 
Scriptures,  and  the  book  of  men's  hearts  and  lives.  2  Pet.  i.  9. 
Hence  in  affliction  and  temptation  we  know  the  Lord,  and  his 
mind,  and  our  own  hearts,  and  the  world  best.  When  Jonathan 
eats  the  honey,  "  his  eyes  are  open."  Now,  sometimes  the 
watchmen  are  not  acting,  or  watching,  but  sleeping^  and  hence 
those  are  taken  for  wheat,  that  indeed  are  but  tares.  The  book 
has  a  fair  superscription  or  frontispiece,  and  they  so  sleepy  they 
do  not  read  it  through,  and  so  cither  see  no  fault  at  all,  or,  tf 
any,  they  be  but  errata  in  the  printing,  and  weaknesses  to  be 
borne  with ;  or  if  they  do,  yet  the  man  is  commended,  and  has  a 
name  to  live,  when,  indeed,  he  is  dead,  and  so  this  serves  the 
turn  ;  and  though  he  comes  in,  yet  they  shall  do  well  enough 
with  him,  though,  indeed,  they  herem  have  but  a  wolf  by  the 
ears. 

Reason  3.  In  regard  of  hypocrites  themselves,  who  must  be 
like  themselves,  ever  to  act  for  their  own  ends ;  for  they  ever 
have  an  evil  eye ;  now  it  makes  for  their  ends,  to  join  them- 
selves to  the  purest  churches  of  the  L#ord  Jesus. 

1.  Sometimes  it  makes  for  their  honor.  Hence  you  know  the 
church  of  Sardis  lost  her  power  of  life,  for  tliat  is  a  burden ; 
yet  kept  their  iiame  to  live,  for  that  is  an  honor.  For  if  men 
live  out  of  church  fellowship,  that  is  a  great  shame,  and  now 
they  have  little  love  from  saints  ;  indeed,  the  wicked  may  honor 
them,  but  what  is  that  to  the  honor  of  the  wliole  church  ?  Who 
would  think  Saul  should  have  cared  for  Samuel,  that  dealt  so 
plainly  and  sharply  with  him?  Yet,  "O,  honor  me  before  this 
people  ; "  that  is  the  business.  There  are  many  excellent  gifts 
Christ  i)ours  down  upon  his  church.  '*  Simon  believes  also," 
(Acts  viii.,)  and  would  give  any  money  for  those  gifts,  that  he 
might  be  wondered  at  as  he  was  before.  A  man  seeing  other 
gifts,  and  the  love  they  liave  thereby,  even  a  Simon  may  desire 
such  gifts,  and  a  mighty  power  of  grace  to  animate  those  gifls, 
and  would  give  any  money  for  this,  that  he  may  be  wondered  at. 
Some  refined,  polished  spirits  scorn  honor  of  base  men ;  and 
hence  fish  for  it  elsewhere. 


TBE  TE!J   V1KOIN9.  187 

r  9.  Their  ^in.     It  la  strange  that  Judos  follows  Christ  for  the 

;,  tlmt  was  so  poor ;  yet  he  did,  until  he  saw,  after  tliree  j'eara 

F  woitiDg,  eo  UtUe  came  in.     So  it  is  strange  that  men 

wuld  seek  to  join  poor  churehes  for  that;  yet  tliey  do  and  will, 

so  long  as  they  bare  any  lots  to  give,  or  purses  lo  lend,  or  hearts 

to  take  care  and  provide  for  those  that  are  joined  lo  tliem.    You 

shall  have  many  poor  Christian  men ;  but  be  kind  and  boimtifut 

»  4a  them,  you  may  lead  them  into  any  errors,  catch  them  at  your 

'  uuure  with  a  silver  hook,  until  Lhey  see  their  gain  grows  httlo, 

i  respect  less,  and  then  lhey  fall  off. 
I(  3.  Their  comfort  for  union  lo  the  church  of  God,  1.  Covers 
r  sin  and  hides  it  from  the  eyes  of  the  world.  Thieves  walk 
loul  suspicion  in  true  men's  companies,  and  thus  they  make 
1  "  boase  of  prayer  a  don  of  thieves  ; "  and  this  is  some  com- 
1.  For  hypocrites,  they  can  carry  it  cleverly  that  none  see ; 
though  God  see,  it  is  no  matter.  It  wilt  not  be  thought  that  a 
member  of  a  church  dares  do  such  a  wickedness,  yet  so  it  is 
sometimes.  2,  Comforts  their  conscience  in  their  sin  ;  men  lore 
tlicir  lusts ;  but  what,  no  respect  to  ordmances  of  Christ  ?  yes, 
and  so  conscience  is  quiet,  and  sin  lives  loo.  Jer.  vii.  3.  Be- 
cause there  is  much  comfort  in  God's  ordinances,  and  in  attend- 
ing on  God  there,  not  only  verbal,  but  the  visible  gospel  is  sweet, 
the  sacraments;  hence  they  join  themselves  as  in  John's  minis- 
try. '■  You  rejoiced  for  a  season,"  not  only  in  Chrisl,  but  in  com- 
munion of  saints,  especially  in  dangerous  times,  that  a  man  fears 
the  judgments  of  God  will  come  in  those  places  wherever  they 
iive  wiihont  them.     And  now  thej  are  quiet  when  got  into  the 

«  of  the  Leviles,  from  the  pursuer  of  blood, 
k  Meaaon  4>  In  regard  of  the  saints  themselves. 
\  FirA,  There  is  seen  many  times  a  divine  majesty  and  excel- 
a  theut,  which  has  a  drawing  virtue  with  it,  that  many,  out 
t  respect  to  that,  close  with  them,  as  Gen.  xxvi.  27,  2S.     God 
to  see  Israel's  glory  in  his  tents,  and  he  can  not 
■■,  (if  he  might  have  all  the  world,)  but  must  bless  them. 
\  SecQiuUy.   There  is  much  charily  which  thinks  no  evil,  that 
~"    re  they  see  evib,  lliey  cover  them,  where  there  is  but  litllo 
1  appearing,  they  hope  there  is  more  tlian  they  see  ;  the 
ing*s  daughter"  being  ''all  glorious  withiu." 
Y  l%irdlg.  There  is  a  spirit  of  humility  in  them,  lo  think  that 
'    n  appear  far  better  than  themselves,  until  God  di 
I,  especially  in  that  they  arc  yet  unsettled. 
anrutly.  A  spirit  of  desire  to  have  all  as  near  the  Lord 
V  can,  and  though  there  be  evils  in  them,  yet  they  hope  Ihal 
I  tnake  them  better. 


nk  that  M 

Lord  as  H 

}pe  IhnI  H 


188  THE  PARABLE   OF 

Reason  5.  From  the  Lord  himself;  who  has, — 

First.  Reserved  this  exact  separation  as  one  part  of  his  own 
glory  at  his  second  coming.  Then  he  shall  separate  sheep  and 
goats. 

Secondly.  Because  some  are  verj  serviceable  to  his  chnrch, 
and  so  to  Christ,  as  caput  poUticvniy  both  in  regard  of  outward 
means  of  subsistence,  and  also  with  edifying  gifts ;  hence  into 
his  family  he  will  let  them  come,  being  servants,  and  like  carriers 
that  carry  another's  money  and  wealth  to  him,  and  then  turns 
them  out  of  doors. 

Thirdly.  Because  of  a  certain  real,  yet  not  thorough  work  of 
the  Lord,  whereby  he  draws  them  to  some  fellowship  with  the 
church,  the  members,  and  some  kind  of  fellowship  with  his  Son ; 
yet  it  not  being  a  thorough,  effectual,  Almighty  drawing,  they 
prove  unsound.  John  vi.  G5. 

Fourthly.  That  the  Lord  might  manifest  the  exceeding  great- 
ness of  his  wrath  in  some ;  for  Grod's  last  end  in  all  the  wicked 
is  to  show  the  greatness  of  it,  (Rom.  ix.  21,  22,)  yet  in  some 
more  than  others ;  and  hence  raises  them  up  in  the  church  to 
great  eminency  of  profession,  and  parts,  and  honor,  that  all  the 
saints  also  may  admire  God's  grace  to  themselves  the  more,  that 
when  **  two  in  the  field,  one  shall  be  taken,  another  left,"  that 
they  should  sit  in  the  same  seats,  and  yet  some  called,  others 
left ;  and  of  them  that  are  called  to  leave  many,  and  love  me, 
and  that  men  of  great  parts,  and  I  a  poor  simple  one  to  choose 
such  a  base  thing,  to  confound  the  wise,  the  mighty.  But  as  it 
is  said  of  Pharaoh,  What  meant  all  the  miracles  ?  all  the  hum- 
blings  of  heart?  and  yet  he  would  not  let  them  go ;  "  For  this 
cause  have  I  raised  thee  up."  Exod.  ix.  16.  "Of  all  that  thou 
ha'it  given  me,"  (saith  Christ,)  **  not  one  is  lost,  but  the  son  of 
I>erdition,  that  the  Scripture  might  be  fulfilled."     So  here. 

Section  IV. 

\  'Use-X,  This  serves  to  clear  us  in  this  country  from  a  foul  as- 
persion that  is  cast  out  of  the  mouths  of  pulpits  upon  us,  tliat  we 
hold  the  churches  of  Christ  to  have  no  hyix)crites  in  them.  We 
answ(T,  that  though  if  hypocrites  could  be  openly  and  ecclesi- 
astically discern(!d,  they  should  not  be  received  in,  nor  kept  in, 
because  matter  fit  to  ruin  a  church  is  not  fit  to  make  a  church ; 
yet  we  say  then^  will  be  tares  an<l  wheat,  there  will  be  chaff  and 

I  corn,  there  will  be  wise  and  fixjlish  virgins,  there  will  be  good 

1  and  bad  mingled  together  in  the  churches  until  tlie  world's  end. 

*~"^— 6^e  2.   Of  Advice.  To  the  watchmen  of  the  churches ;  nay, 


THE  TEN  TIROINS.  189 

to  afi  that  profess  themselves  to  be  their  brethren's  keepers,  to 
all  that  are  wise-hearted  virgins,  not  to  lavish,  your  charity  too 
hr;  it  is  a  precious  grace,  and  you  have  little  enough  for  them 
that  are  sincere ;  but  to  bear  a  jealous  heart,  and  to  labor  for  a 
quick,  discerning  eye  to  find  out  them  that  will  mingle  them- 
eelves  among  you.     This  was  the  commendation  and  honor  of 
tlie  Ephesians.  Bev.  ii.  2.     I  confess  it  is  a  sinful  extreme  to 
cry  down  all  the  virgins  as  foolish  when  there  be  "  iiYe  wise." 
Satan  will  seek  to  break  the  bond  of  brotherly  love  by  sowing 
Mse  reports  and  horrible  suspicions ;  and  it  is  a  hard  thing  for 
a  Paul,  after  the  Lord  has  rapt  him  up  to  the  third  heaven  in 
rereladons,  not  to  be  puffed  up,  and  in  seeing  himself  at  a  dis- 
tance from  other  men,  not  to  despise  and  condemn  them  that 
have  not  risen  so  high  as  he.    A  false  heart,  when  he  sees  more 
than  others,  as  he  thinks,  now  thinks  highly  of  himself,  as  some 
great  reformer  of  churches  and  the  world,  especially  if  a  man  of 
shallow  head ;  and  hence  censures  and  condemns  all  that  do  not 
inagQify  him,  and  reverence   his  judgments  and  the  dust  of 
^^  feet    And  yet  it  is  another  sinful  extreme  to  swallow  down 
^U  flies  that  be  in  the  cup,  and  to  think  too  charitably  of  every 
one  that  does  profess.     Children  that  have  no  children  them- 
^Itcs  will  make  children  of  clouts,  and  then  love  them ;  and 
l^ce  many  a  soul  lies  bleeding  to  death,  because  they  have  such 
^Qder  friends  as  will  not  search  them.     And  I  doubt  not  but 
'^y  in  hell  may  say,  O  that  I  should  live  among  such  and 
^h,  and  they  never  deal  faithfully  with  me ! 
Object  If  a  man  walk  fairly,  should  I  censure  him  ? 
Ans,  No ;  but  yet  maintain  a  holy  jealousy  over  them,  as 
i^aul  did  over  the  Gralatians.     This  stands  with  love,  as  it  was 
with  Job,  chap.  i.  5.     As  it  is  with  chirurgeons,  it  is  love  to  cut 
to  the  quick.     Love  them  because  they  appear  to  be  Christ's, 
and  are  so  to  thee,  and  this  shall  have  a  reward ;  but  yet  be 
jealous  in  love,  because  there  be  that  hid  which  was  never  yet 
seen. 

1.  It  may  be  thou  mayst  save  a  soul,  and  they  will  love  thee; 
or  else  thou  sh^t  clear  jyatige  by  being  a  witness  against 
them. 

2.  It  is  the  chief  work  for  Christ  here,  there  being  no  pro- 
fane ones  among  us,  to  overthrow  the  kingdom  of  hypocrisy,  as 
well  as  of  civility  and  profaneness. 

3.  You  will  save  the  Lord  a  purging  and  cleansing  time  ;  for, 
when  Christ  purges  not  with  the  Holy  Ghost  in  his  saints  and 
ordinances,  he  will  with  fire.  Here  I  might  give  rules  for  dis- 
cerning men's  spirits ;  as,  — 


190  THE    TABABLE   OF 

First,  Mark  their  speech ;  for  ^  by  thy  words  thou  shalt  be 
justified ; ''  and  many  times  one  word  will  give  a  light  to  see 
all,  as  in  Simon  Magus ;  as  with  men  in  a  labyrinth  found  out 
by  one  thread. 

Secondly.  Mark  them  that  you  see  not  grappling  with  sin  and 
temptation ;  for  if  we  see  them  without  that  they  are  not  yet 
tried,  therefore  observe  them  here ;  here  is  their  tnal  when  time 
of  temptation  comes. 

Thirdly.  Get  thyself  to  stand  at  a  distance  from  sinfiil  men, 
from  all  the  world.  "  We  know  we  are  of  Grod."  1  John  v.  19. 
As  men  that  are  in  the  water  look  only  to  themselves,  but  stand- 
ing safe  on  shore,  they  see  others  drowning.  I  speak  this  be- 
cause I  fear  the  churches  are  so  busy  about  their  own  things, 
that  their  watch  is  not  kept ;  if  they  see  no  gross  nn,  then  aU 
is  well. 
I  Use  3.  Hence /be  not  offended  if  you  see  great  cedars  fall, 
stars  fall  from  heaven,  great  professors  die  and  decay.  1.  Do 
not  think  they  be  all  such.  2.  Do  not  think  the  elect  shall  fall. 
Truly  some  are  such,  that  when  they  fall,  one  would  think  a  man 
truly  sanctified  might  fall  away,  as  the  Arminians  think.  /  1  John 
ii.  19,  "Thoy  were  not  of  us."  I  speak  this  because  tne  Lord 
is  shaking,  and  I  look  for  great  apostasies  towards ;  for  God  is 
trying  all  liis  friends  through  all  the  Christian  world.  In  Ger- 
many, what  profession  was  there !  Who  would  have  thought  of 
it  ?  The  Lord,  who  delights  to  manifest  that  openly  which  was 
hid  secretly,  sends  a  sword,  and  they  fall ;  others  in  other  places 
receive  the  word  with  joy,  the  Lord  sends  persecution,  and  fear- 
ing men  more  than  the  filth  of  sin  and  anger  of  Christ,  they 
fall.  Others  stand  it  out  there,  and  suffer,  and  venture  hither, 
and,  Issachar-like,  see  rest  is  good,  and  crouch  under  their  bur- 
dens, and  so  they  fall.  Others  have  had  sweetness  in  ordi- 
nances ;  the  Lord  departs,  and  so  they  fall.  Others  have  corrupt 
hearts,  and  received  the  truth  in  the  form,  not  in  love,  and  stood 
in  defence  of  the  truth,  not  in  love  of  the  truth ;  the  Lord  lets 
error  loose,  and  they  fall.  Well,  never  be  offended  at  this ;  I 
am  not,  because  I  never  knew  man  fall  but  he  loved  some  lust, 
and  was  never  broken  from  sin  ;  and  although  this  is  not  seen 
when  they  do  fall,  it  offends  not  me. 

Use  4.  O,  therefore,  search  your  own  hearts.  When  Christ 
said  to  the  disciples,  "  One  shall  betray  me,"  "  Lord,  is  it  I  ?  ** 
say  they  ;  so,  when  not  one,  but  many.  Lord,  is  it  I  ?  O,  many 
a  Christian  lies  f:ist  asleep,  never  comes  to  a  thorough  search,  a 
strict  watch.  Do  but  consider  this  ;  1.  That  in  churches,  nay, 
purest  churches,  many  may  lie  hid,  not  discerned.     2.  Thou 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  191 

^jii  be  one.    3.  If  thoa  beest,  that  of  all  men  living  none 

M  so  deeply  sink  in  helL     4.  That  all  ordinances  shall  tend 

to  this  end,  and  all  thy  joys,  all  thy  afflictions ;  and  therefore, 

0,  search,  before  the  Lord  search,  and  say,  Lord,  as  no  man's 

panishments  and  (blagues  can  be  like  mine,  nor  sins,  if  I  perish, 

so  i£  pardoned,  loved,  never  any  shall  have  such  cause  to  bless 

tliee.    And,  therefore,  take  not  up  with  weak  and  groundless 

Iiopes,  but  love  that  hand  that  smites  and  wounds  thee  ;  for  this 

discovery  is  to  awaken  thee.     But  you  have  so  much  business 

you  will  not,  can  not,  etc     Consider  what  a  fearful  thing  it  is  to 

be  hung  up  as  for  a  gazing-stock  to  saints,  so  an  everlasting 

terror  to  the  daomed  themselves. 


CHAPTER  XIV. 

COKTAININQ  A  DISCOVERY  OP  GOSPEL  HYPOCRITES. 

Section  I. 

Ob$erv.  2.  That  the  most  hidden  hypocrites  of  the  purest 
cliurches  under  the  gospel  are  evangelical,  or  gospel  hypocrites. 

For  these  that  were  foolish  were  not  such  as  in  appearance 
rested  in  the  law,  or  in  a  covenant  of  works,  but  they  hiid  escaped 
those  entanglements,  and  now  were  virgins  that  plead  their  in- 
terest in,  and  their  communion,  and  fellowship,  and  love-knot 
with  Christ ;  they  had  now  their  lamps  ready,  and  made  much 
preparation  for  him,  and  they  did  wait  for  him,  and  verily  looked 
to  have  eternal  fellowship  with  him  their  beloved,  insomuch  thai 
they  took  their  flight  so  high  towards  heaven  and  Christ,  thai 
they  passed  for  a  time  the  discerning  of  the  wise ;  for  you  must 
know,  that  where  the  gospel  comes,  there  are  two  sorts  of  ene- 
mies against  it. 

1 .  C^n ;  and  those  are  your  justiciaries,  that,  seeking  to  estab- 
lish their  own  righteousness,  and  being  puffed  up  with  it,  can. 
with  pretended  good  consciences  in  doing  God  service,  oppose 
the  righteousness  of  God. 

2.  Secret  and  subtle  enemies,  yet  seeming  friends ;  and  these 
are  your  carnal  gospelers,  that  cry  down  all  their  own  righteous 

y^ess,  and  cry  up  Christ,  and  see  nothing  in  themselves,  as  there 

^f^is  good  cause  so  to  think,  and  look  for  all  from  Christ ;  and  yet 

these,  when  the  Lord  comes  to  search,  are  found  false ;  and  these 

are  the  worms  that  grow  in  this  wood,  in  tliis  building,  in  th(^se 

chorcheB.    Thus  it  was  in  Christ's  time,  the  church  of  the  Jews 


102  THE  PARABLE  OF 

had  left  their  gross  idolatries ;  yet  this  was  their  stombling-ston^ 
thej  sought  to  establish  their  own  righteousness,  and  hence  h^ 
came  to  his  own,  and  his  own  received  him  not,  and  hence  were 
cut  off  for  this  their  unbelief;  but  others  (diners  sorts  of  them) 
did  receive  him,  believed  in  him.  John  ii.  23.     Many  took  hold 
on  Christ,  and  he  took  no  hold  on  them,  wondered  at  him,  and 
entertained  him  when  others  did  reject  him,  as  Capernaum  did, 
yet  under  his  woe.     And   these  are  the  spots  of  evangelical 
purity,  wens  in  the  bodies  of  the  best  constituted  churches. 
Look  but  upon  Christ's  own  family.  John  vi.  69,  70.     The  dis- 
ciples professed  when  others  departed,  ^  Lord,  to  whom  should 
we  go  ?    Thou  hast  words  of  life ; "  yet  saith  he,  "  I  have  chosen 
you  indeed  to  be  for  me,  but  one  is  a  devil ; "  viz.,  Judas  the  dea- 
con stood  not  on  his  own  righteousness,  but  was  for  Christ,  and 
followed  him ;  and  yet  in  this  evangelical  angel  without  is  a  devil 
within,  because  he  still  harbored  his  lusts  within.     This  the  apos- 
tle Paul  foresaw.  Acts  xx.  29,  30.     Some  wolves  without  should 
come,  and  also  some  cankers  within  should  fret,  that  should  draw 
many  disciples  after  them,  (in  a  church  bought  by  Christ's  own 
blood,)  "  speaking  perverse  things,"  pretending  to  draw  disciples 
after  Christ,  but  it  is  indeed  aAer  themselves ;  and  Paul  laments 
this  —  "  Many  walk,"  i.  e.,  profess  Christ  and  his  cross,  "  yet 
enemies  to  it"  Phil.  iii.  19.     This  Christ  foretells.  Luke  xiii.  25, 
26.     Many  seek,  many  knock,  and  at  last  cry,  "  Lord,  Lord, 
open,"  and  in  their  lifetime  they  pleaded  communion  with  Christ ; 

ryrn,  "  Depart,  ye  workers  of  iniquity."  Jude  4,  certain  men  are 
crept  in,  turning  grace  into  lasciviousness ;  for  this  is  the  very 
form  of  an  evangelical  hypocrite  —  in  denying  his  own  righteous- 
ness, to  establish  his  sin,  it  is  advancing  Christ  to  advance  his 
lust.  The  epistles  of  James  and  John  are  antidotes  against  this 
kind  of  poison,  and  I  look  on  them  as  lamps  hung  up  to  discover 
these  men,  not  but  that  these  men  are  indeed  under  a  covenant 
of  works ;  for  there  be  but  two  sorts  of  men,  and  two  ends  of 
all  men,  hence  but  two  covenants ;  hence  those  tliat  are  not 
indeed  under  grace  are  under  the  law,  and  under  the  curse ;  but 
because  the  most  subtle  hypocrites  appear  or  seem  to  be  under 

i  grace,  and  their  external  operations  are  chiefly  evangelical,  hence 

A  I  call  them  evangelical  hyi)ocrites. 

Section  IL 

Reason  1.  In  regard  of  the  power  of  the  word  and  gospel  of 
life  and  spirit  in  such  churches ;  for  the  gospel  where  it  comes, 
as  it  advanceth  the  glorious  and  everlasting  righteousness  of 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  193 

Cbrist,  90  it  knocks  under  foot  all  man's,  as  a  means  subservient 

to  that  end,  and  it  coming  with  power  and  light,  it  would  be  toa 

gross  for  hTpocrites  to  maintain  life  by  works ;  hence  Christ  is 

that  which  thej  look  unto ;  for  Christ  when  he  preached,  not 

ooJj  many  "  believed  because  of  his  miracles,"  but  "  when  they 

heard  his  word,"  (John  viii.  30 ;  Matt  xiii.,)  in  the  parable  of  the 

Bower,  the  word  came  with  much  power,  that  they  received  it 

with  joy,  and  did  believe,  but  fell  by  their  lusts.     And  look  as 

it  is  with  the  sun,  there  comes  light  and  heat  with  it,  so  there 

comes,— 

1.  Truth  to  the  mind,  and  conquers  the  judgments  of  hypo- 
crites, that  there  is  no  life,  good,  righteousness,  but  in  Christ,  nor 
salvation  but  by  Christ. 

2.  There  comes  some  goodness  of  the  gospel  to  the  heart,  that 
men  hearing  and  seeing  salvation  wrapped  up  there,  O,  that  is 
sweet  and  good !  and  hence  their  affections  and  hearts  are  in  some 
measure  conquered  by  the  power  of  the  over-dazzling  truth ; 
and  hence  hypocrites,  being  thus  conquered,  partly  being  of  this 
opinion,  partly  tasting  some  good  of  it,  desire  it  out  of  self-love, 
expect  it  out  of  self-delusion,  and  profess  themselves  virgins  out 
of  these  principles. 

Jieafon  2.  In  regard  of  the  power  of  evangelical  examples  in 
the  five  wise  virgins ;  for  look  as  it  is  with  living  men  when  the 
sun  shines  upon  their  heads,  they  cast  their  shadows  that  follow 
them ;  so  when  the  Lord  Jesus  shines  .upon  the  souls  of  his  own 
people,  almost  every  honest,  sincere-hearted  man  will  cast  his 
shadow  that  will  be  like  him ;  hence  hypocrites  in  those  churches 
which  are  commonly  rather  led  by  example  than  by  rule,  will  be 
very  like  them,  and  imitate  them ;  if  they  should  not,  what  com- 
munion could  they  have  with  them,  or  what  love  could  they  re- 
ceive from  them?  For  there  is  a  mighty  power  in  eminent 
examples  to  overbear  hypocrites,  that  if  they  will  turn  them- 
selves into  any  form,  they  must  into  theirs,  as  in  Joash  ;  for  there 
are  two  things  in  the  carriage  of  the  saints. 

1.  There  is  a  condemning  ^)ower  in  it;  hence  men  fear  to  live 
unlike  them. 

2.  There  is  a  winning  virtue  in  it,  an  attractive  virtue ;  hence 
men  endeavor  to  be  and  live  like  them,  to  be  of  the  same  mind, 
the  same  heart  with  them ;  and  hence  others  take  them,  and 
they  take  themselves,  to  be  sincere,  and  hence  they  are  evan- 
gelical gospel  hypocrites  that  lie  hid  in  these  churches ;  hence, 
(Zech.  viii.  23,)  "  Alany  shall  take  hold  of  a  Jew's  skirt,  (I  doubt 
not  but  some  false  ones,)   We  have  heard  God  is  with  you." 

VOL.  II.  17 


w^' 


194  THE   PARABLE   OF 

And  OS  Christ  when  lifted  up  and  risen,  so  saints  draw  hjrpocrite» 
to  them. 

Reason  3.  Because  the  gospel  brings  the  greatest  and  sweetest' 
consolations  with  it.  Hence  a  man,  under  the  terror  of  the  law 
and  sense  of  curse  for  his  sin,  will  make  his  last  refuge  hither^ 
and  hide  himself  under  the  wing  of  the  gosi>cl,  not  so  much  oat 
of  love  to  Christ  or  gospel,  but  because  they  serve  his  turn,  and 
give  him  ease.  Like  men  scorched  with  heat,  and  almost  readj 
to  die,  the  shadow  of  a  tree  is  now  very  comfortable,  and  there- 
fore there  they  sit ;  so  these.  Or,  as  men  with  scalded  aims^ 
they  put  them  into  water,  which  gives  them  ease,  no  cure ;  but 
because  it  gives  them  ease,  there  they  keep  them ;  so  here.  Men 
have  been  scalded  with  wrath ;  O,  now  gospel  is  very  sweet,  and  so 
are  eased  by  it,  never  cured  by  it.  Therefore,  here  you  shall 
find  them  disclaim  all  works,  and  cry  up  grace  only ;  where  the 
purest  churches  are,  there  are  usually  great  awakenings,  there 
God  is  very  near  men,  and  made  most  manifest  to  men's  oon* 
sciences,  and  there  are  most  foul  plagues,  contempt  of  the  Spirit 
of  grace,  and  hence  most  dreadful  torments  of  conscience,  and 
fearful  lookings  for  of  judgment.  Now,  hence  it  comes  to  pass, 
when  Christ  is  offered,  and  general  notice  given  to  men's  minds, 
that  yet  there  is  hope  and  mercy  for  great  sinners ;  this  fills  them 
with  joy  and  peace,  as  John's  hearers,  (John  v.  35,)  and  hence 
they  believe  as  the  stony  ground  that  had  some  ploughing,  and 
hence  received  the  word  with  joy,  and  believed.  Ps.  Ixvi.  3.  It 
is  a  prophecy  of  the  kingdom  of  Christ,  Antichrist  tormented 
the  consciences  of  men.  liev.  ix.  Men  have  no  peace  within  nor 
without.  Luther  is  raised  up,  and  preachcth  the  doctrine  of  free 
grace,  which  a  world  of  men  looking  to  their  ease  reject ;  others 
in  truth  receive  it  ;  for  some  time  before  his  death  he  cries  to 
God  that  he  may  not  live  to  see  the  ruins  that  were  coming  on 
Germany  for  their  contempt.  The  law  is  the  ministry  of  death ; 
the  gosptjl  propounds  great  privileges,  with  much  more  sweetness 
to  siiniers,  and  hence  hither  men  fly. 

Reason  4.  Because  the  gospel  yields  the  fairest  colors  for  a 
man's  sloth,  and  strongest  props  for  that.  Hence  you  shall  see 
them  walking  in  this  garden  ;  for  the  last  sin  God  conquers  in  a 
man  is  his  sloth.  When  the  swine  have  no  swill  to  eat,  yet  you 
shall  find  them  in  the  mire  of  sloth ;  this  "  slays  the  foolish." 
Hence  the  best  hypocrite  will  plead  the  gospel,  it  is  troublesome 
to  the  flesh  to  bear  a  daily  sense  of  the  sins  and  wants  of  the  soul. 
Hence  you  shall,  Capernaum,  receive  Christ,  and  wonder  at  his 
doctrine ;  and  yet  Christ  upbraids  them,  ^^  they  repented  not." 


THE  TEN   VIROIN8.  195 

Hatt  xi.  20.     tt  18  troublesome,  nay,  impossible,  for  a  man  to 
break  his  chains  and  get  his  soul  loosed  from  his  lusts,  and  free 
for  the  Lord.     The  gospel  shows  all  fullness  in  Christ,  and  that 
Ik  must  do  all ;  a  slothful,  false  heart,  therefore,  closeth  with 
Christ  as  the  end,  but  neglects  him  in  the  means.     Why  ?  Christ 
most  do  all,  say  they,  and  hence,  if  Christ  do  drop  upon  their 
bearts,  well  and  good ;  if  not,  it  is  Christ's  fault ;  he  is  a  hard 
laaster  that  gathers  where  he  did  not  sow,  and  hence  wrapped  it 
up.    A  man's  false  heart  is  weary  of  the  yoke  of  Christ,  and 
bence  would  fain  be  eased  of  it.     Now,  the  gospel  promiseth  lib- 
erty from  the  bondage  and  curse  of  the  law,  and  a  slothful  heart 
can  find  out  reasons  to  free  himself  from  the  rule  of  it,  as  part 
of  Christian  liberty,  "  this  is  our  liberty  in  Christ  Jesus."  2  Pet. 
ii.  19.     And  they  rejoice  exceedingly  that  the  law  is  dead,  as 
they  did  (Rev.  xL  10)  for  the  death  of  witnesses,  because  they 
tormented  them.     I  say  again,  they  rejoice  not  because  the  Lord 
makes  them  like  himself^  and  because  of  his  image  restored  by 
the  gospel,  and  because  they  feel  the  power  of  it,  but  because 
they  are  free  from  the  power  of  it.     It  is  an  old  deceit,  yet  sub- 
tle to  rejoice,  and  love,  and  bless  Christ,  because  he  will  pardon 
sin,  though  I  lie  and  live  in  them.     Or,  if  they  do  not  free  them- 
selves from  it,  the  gospel  shows  the  law  within  closing  with  the 
law  without,  to  be  an  evidence  the  Lord  will  not  impute  it,  and 
that  it  b  not  they,  but  sin  in  them.     Hence  a  slothful  heart  will 
continue  in  his  sloth,  and  to  ease  himself  of  trouble,  for  sin  and 
obedience  too,  say,  it  is  not  he,  but  sin.     And  heilbe  Arminius 
makes  a  strange  interpretation  of  Rom.  vii.    Because  he  saw  Ger- 
man professors  plead  that  for  themselves,  the  Israelites  entered 
not  into  Canaan,  unbelief  caused  it.     And  why  did  that  shut 
them  out?     O,  there  were  walled  towns  and  difficulties,  and  this 
was  the  last  shock,  and  hence  they  fell  off;  so  it  is  in  hypocrites 
DOW.     The  safest  place  to  lie  asleep  is  in  Christ's  lap. 

ReoMon  5.  From  the  mighty  cunning  of  Satan,  the  strength 
of  whose  kingdom  is  made  and  continued  by  peace.  Luke  xi.  41. 
Hence,  **  He  will  turn  himself  into  an  angel  of  light,"  and  suffer 
men  to  go  to  Christ  and  the  gospel,  to  avoid  the  search,  that  they 
may  be  Christ's  in  appearance,  and  his  indeed.  2  Cor.  iv.  4.  He 
bas  a  mighty  power  over  men  to  blind  them ;  for  there  be  three 
things  which  trouble  men  usually,  and  make  them  question  their 
estates,  and  the  gospel  quiets  and  absolves  them  from  all. 

1.  Conscience,  that  cries  dolefully  sometimes,  These  sins  shall 
have  these  woes.  Yes,  unless  I  believe  ;  but  I  believe,  and  trust 
to  Christ,  and  flee  to  Clod's  mercy.  ^^^^ 

2.  Ministry,  that  cries  and  searcheth  into  the  deepest  windings! 


196  THE  PABABLE   OP 

■ 

of  men's  hearts,  that  men  can  not  but  see  that  Christ  has 
of  flaming  fire  to  see  through  them.    Now,  hence  men  avoid 
stroke  and  power  of  all  ministry ;  thus  it  is  with  me,  thus  it 
be  with  me ;  but  I  believe  and  trust  to  Christ.    And  hence  jsm 

I  bear  back  like  brazen  walls  all  blows. 

^^.  God's  judgment  seat.  What  though  men  see  you  not,  je^ 
God  seeth.  Why,  they  have  sinned,  they  confess,  but  Christ  ha» 
suffered ;  they  have  sinned,  but  they  trust,  etc,  (Micah  iiL  11,)> 
''Is  not  the  Lord  among  us?"  libok  as  it  was  with  Joab^  ''he 
runs  to  the  horns  of  the  altar,"  yet  there  he  perisheth,  there  he 
would  die,  there  was  the  last  refuge  from  search  and  death ;  so 
here. 

Section  m. 

Use  1.  Hence  do  not  think  your  estates  good^  because 
look  only  for  justification  by  Clmst,  and  look  only  to  God's 
grace,  and  count  of  grace  in  Christ.  It  is  a  common  ernnr  for 
men  to  think,  being  they  be  of  this  opinion,  only  to  look  for  grace 
in  Christ ;  to  think  that,  therefore,  their  estates  are  false,  and  they 
are  justified  by  Christ  Why,  there  may  be  such  a  power  rf 
word  and  spirit  to  conquer  their  judgments,  as  those  Papists  that 
have  been  pleading  against  it  have  been  overcome  by  it.  Thoa 
mayst  receive  the  notions  of  it  in  thy  head,  but  the  power  of  it 
never  into  thy  heart. 

Object,  1.  &ut  my  heart  has  been  affected  with  this  to  see 
when  my  sins  deserve  death  ;  yet  there  is  mercy  for  the  vilest 
in  Christ. 

Am.  Thou  mayst  taste  and  joy,  and  yet  fall  off  at  last. 

Object.  2.  But  I  have  fellowsliip  with  the  Lord  Jesus* 

An$.  Thou  mayst  eat  and  drink  in  his  presence,  and  yet  be 
bid,  **  Depart ;  I  know  you  not,  a  worker  of  iniquity." 

Object.  3.  But  I  have  "  escaped  the  pollution  of  the  world,** 
(2  Pet  X.  20,)  and  that  through  this  knowledge  of  Christ|  his 
love  has  much  moved  me  to  part  with  my  sins. 

Ans.  It  may  be  so,  and  it  may  wash  thee  from  all  external 
pollutions,  and  yet  thy  swinish  nature  remain  still  hidden  from 
thee,  but  seen  of  an  all-seeing  God. 

Object.  4.  But  I  look  for  Christ,  and  wait  for  him,  and  desire 
him,  and  all  that  are  wise  think  well  of  me. 

Arts,  You  may  do  all  this,  and  yet  you  may  be  found  foolish, 
for  all  this.  Evangelical  work,  which  is  accompanied  with  sal- 
vation in  some,  it  may  be  hypocritical  in  thee  ;  and  therefore  take 
heed  you  do  not  take  shows  for  substance.  For,  look,  as  in  the 
gospel  God's  utmost  perfection  of  wisdom  and  love  appears,  so 


-a  ai 


THE   TEN  VIBGINS.  197 

die  most  hidden  and  admirable  delusions  of  Satan  are  evangeli- 
oL   There  his  power  is  employed  to  undermine,  and  so  to  keep 
lu3  head.     O  that  we  could  but  imagine  and  set  before  our  eyes 
the  amazing  condition  of  such  a  man,  whose  plagues  shall  be 
made  wonderful,  that  has  been  troubled  with  sin  a  long  time,  at 
h»t  looks  to  Christ,  and  there  rests,  and  so  hears  all  sermons, 
and  there  still  sleeps,  and  considers  often  that  his  ways  are  evil, 
hot  never  suspects  his  faith  to  be  evil ;  then  he  comes  to  die,  and 
theD  looks  for  Christ ;  at  last  the  wick  or  snuff  dies,  and  sun 
sets,  and  darkness  approaches,  and  then  suddenly  slips  into  hell, 
where  he  sees  Christ  and  saints  afar  off.   And  what  has  deceived 
them  ?     O,  their  faith  has  deceived  them,  to  see  Christ  shaking 
them  off  as  dust.     O,  they  wish,  O  that  I  had  known  or  feared 
this  before !     And  will  you  not  fear  now  ?     As  for  you,  profane 
ones,  that  can  scoff,  and  drink,  and  break  Sabbaths,  and  live  idly, 
your  judgment  is  writ  upon  your  foreheads ;  but,  O,  take  heed, 
you  that  have  escaped  these  pollutions,  lest  you  deceive  your- 
helves  here.     To  show  you  that  deceit  particularly,  it  is  not  my 
time  yet,  but  go  along,  and  think  sadly  of  it ;  I  may  look  for 
justification  by  Christ,  and  wait  for  Christ,  and  yet  perish.     O, 
let  me  be  sure  I  get  such  a  faith  as  will  not  deceive  me  here. 
Should  not  a  man,  you  will  say,  trust  Christ  ?     Yes,  when  you 
can  in  truth  ;  but  thy  trust  may  be  but  presumption.  _^ 

Use  2.  Take  not  up,  therefore,  every  opinion  and  doctrine,  from 
men  or  angel,  that  bears  a  fair  show  of  advancing  Christ ;  for 
they  may  be  but  the  fruits  of  evangelical  hypocrisy  and  deceit, 
that,  being  deceived  themselves,  may  deceive  others  too./  Matt.^ 
vii.  15,  "  Beware  of  them  that  come  in  sheep's  clothing, '  in  the 
innocency,  purity,  and  meekness  of  Christ  and  his  people,  **  but 
inwardly  are  wolves,  proud,  cruel,  censorious,  speaking  evil  of 
what  they  know  not ;  by  their  fruits  you  shall  know  them."  Do] 
not  think,  beloved,  that  Satan  will  not  seek  to  send  delusions 
among  us ;  and  do  you  think  these  delusions  will  come  out  of 
the  Popish  puck,  whose  inventions  smell  above  ground  here  ? 
No  ;  he  must  come,  and  will  come,  with  more  evangelical  fine- 
spun de\'ice9.  It  is  a  rule  ob8er\'ed  among  Jesuits  at  this  day,\ 
if  they  would  conquer  religion  by  subtlety,  never  oppose  reli- 
gion with  a  cross  religion,  but  set  it  against  itself;  so  oppose  the 
gospel  by  the  gospel ;  and  look,  as  churches  pleading  for  works 
ha<i  new  invented  devised  works,  so  when  faith  is  preached,  men 
will  have  their  new  inventions  of  faith.  I  speak  not  this  against 
the  doctrine  of  faith  where  it  is  preached,  but  am  glad  of  it ; 
nor  that  I  would  have  men  content  themselves  with  every  form 
of  faith ;  for  I  Injlieve  that  most  men's  faith  needs  confirming  <»r 

17  • 


198  THE  PARABLE   09 

« 

trying,  but  I  speak  to  prevent  danger  on  that  hand.     For  it 

that  which  Christ  did  foretell,  (Matt  xxiv.  24,)  '^  Many  false 

Christs  should  arise,"  i.  e.,  such  as  should  misapply  Christy  that 

had  a  spirit  for  Christ,  which  was  a  spirit  against  Christ,  and 

would  "  deceive,  if  it  were  possible,  the  very  elect ; "  for  oom* 

ing  with  Christ's  Spirit,  they  dare  not  oppose  them,  kst  they  op* 

/l^ose  the  Spirit  of  Christ.     The  only  remedy  is  to  hold  to  Christ's 

I  word,  and  not  to  depart  one  hair's  breadth  from  it,  (Rev.  iii.  10,) 

land  to  a  word  well  understood,  and  then  dispute  no  more.    Satan 

comes  to  Eve,  and  bids  her  eat ;  no,  God  forbid ;  yet  eat  to  be 

like  gods ;  he  dazzled  her  with  that  which  was  not ;  now  she 

fell.     Take  the  truth  from  what  the  word  saith,  and  depart  not 

from  it. 

Use  3.  Here  see  the  dreadful  estate  of  all  them  that  be  found 
false-hearted  in  the  purest  churches,  and  that  in  these  three  re- 
spects :  — 

First.  That  they  should  so  horribly  forsake  and  blaspheme 
the  name  of  Grod,  to  make  the  glorious  gospel  of  God*  and  all 
the  sweet  doctrines  of  grace  a  cover  for  their  hypocrisy  and  sin, 
as  indeed  it  is ;  for  were  it  not  for  this,  they  might  be  found  out 
in  their  sins,  but  now  they  are  beyond  the  discovery  of  all  men 
or  means. 

Secondly,  That  they  should  be  so  lamentably  forsaken  of  (5od, 
as  to  be  left,  — 

1.  To  the  most  subtle  and  spiritual  hypocrisy  in  the  world, 
which,  being  most  cross  to  God,  shall  receive  most  fierce  and 
searching  wrath ;  for,  as  divines  say  of  Christ,  he  was  forsaken 
in  soul,  because  man  had  sinned  with  his  soul ;  so  God's  wrath 
will  search  deep  in  their  hearts,  whose  hearts  have  guilefully 
departed  from  the  Lord. 

2.  That  he  should  lead  them  so  far,  and  yet  in  the  main  for- 
sake them,  O,  this  is  heavy  wrath,  for  a  man  to  be  led  in  the 
daylight  of  the  gospel,  almost  to  the  end  of  his  journey,  and  at 
last  the  sun  sots,  and  he  left  to  wilder. 

Thirdly.  In  regard  of  the  cries  of  the  very  gospel  itself 
against  them.  O  that  the  precious  gospel  of  God,  coming  with 
so  much  peace,  love,  grace,  mercy,  should  win  them  to  be  hypo- 
crites, but  never  to  be  friends  !  Beloved,  as  there  is  vengeance 
of  the  law,  and  of  the  temple,  so  there  is  vengeance  of  the  gos- 
pel when  the  soul  shall  be  drawn  before  the  tribunal  of  Christ, 
and  shall  stand  there  quaking,  all  sins  set  in  order  before  you, 
and  your  mouth  shall  be  stopped.  What  say  you  tlien  for  your 
life  ?  O,  grace  and  mercy.  Lord ;  O,  now  shall  the  gospel  come 
forth  and  say.  All  this  I  did,  I  spake,  I  strove,  I  comforted,  I 


tHB  TEN   VIRGINS.  199 

terrified,  and  yet  he  hath  opposed  the  Lord,  and  me  he  hath 
ttade  a  cover  for  all  these  cyils ;  and  therefore,  Lord,  let  him 
Be?er  be  comforted  more.  John  iii.  19.     O,  Christ  hath  heavy 
tilings  against  these  times,  that  take  light  of  the  gospel  to  see  to 
commit  their  sin  by.     And,  therefore,  lament  your  present  es- 
tates, you  that  know  yourselves  nought,  never  yet  drawn  to 
Christ,  never  yet  humbled  at  the  feet  of  Christ,  and  look  up  to 
the  Lord,  whatever  misery  he  inflicts,  not  to  suffer  thee  to  be  de- 
ceived here ;  not  only  to  have  such  a  faith  as  may  catch  hold  on 
Christ,  but  he  on  thee,  and  come  unto  the  light  to  manifest  the 
hidden  enmity  there.     Never  was  yet  man  deceived  but  he  that 
was  willing  to  be  deceived,  that  would  not  use  the  means,  and 
March. 

Section  IV. 

Use  4^  All  you,  therefore,  that  live  under  the  light  of  the 
gospel,  consider  if  it  doth  not  nearly  concern  you  to  search  and 
try  yourselves,  whether  you,  or  some  of  you,  may  not  be  evan- 
gelical hypocrites.  The  time  is  coming  that  you  shall  stand 
before  the  tribunal  of  Grod,  wherein  the  hidden  things  of  dark- 
ness shall  be  brought  forth  to  light,  and  it  will  be  too  late  to 
know  yourselves  then.  O,  therefore,  search  now.  No  man's 
mii*ery  will  be  so  great  as  this,  if  your  heart  be  found  false.  I 
shall  speak  in  a  manner  but  generally  now. 

Sign  1.  Those  that  do  believe  and  yet  fail  in  respect  of  the 
efficient  cause  of  faith,  it  never  had  the  right  maker,  never  came 
out  of  the  right  shop  nor  mint ;  it  was  never  a  faith  of  God*s 
making,  but  a  faith  of  your  own  making ;  so  that  it  is  a  base, 
bastard  faith,  that  though  it  be  born  in  the  house,  it  sliall  never 
possess  the  inheritance,  because  it  was  never  begotten  of  the 
right  father ;  the  Lord  never  wrought  it,  but  themselves ;  for 
mxmy  a  man  b  convinced,  by  the  law  and  spirit  of  bondage,  th{\t 
he  must  die,  and  that  he  is  a  most  grievous  sinner,  and  that, 
when  he  has  done  all,  he  is  unprofitable ;  but  yet  he  trusts  to 
Christ's  and  God*s  mercy,  and  so  believes ;  he  finds  no  great 
difficulty  in  this,  nor  no  great  need  of  the  almighty  jK)wer  of 
the  Lord  to  work  this,  and  all  men  living  shall  never  make  him 
think  but  that  he  does  heartily  and  truly  believe  ;  but  ask  him, 
Have  you  no  doubt  of  your  estate,  and  of  Christ's  not  taking 
hold  of  you  when  you  take  hold  of  him  ?  Yes,  but  seeing  he 
has  been  troubled  about  his  est«ate,  and  repented  of  his  sin,  (in 
his  fioLshion,)  and  reformed  himself  and  family,  and  loves  the 
best  things,  he  believes  without  question,  and  so  misapplies 
promises  to  himself,  never  feeling  a  need  of  the  revelation  and 


I 


200  THE  PARABLE   OF 

donation  of  Jesus  to  him  by  the  Father  ;  and  thus  the  Lord  fimlii^ 
this  man  a  Christ,  and  tliis  man  finds  the  Lord  a  faith,  and  th^ 
Lord  Jesus  redeems  this  man  by  price,  and  this  man  redeems 
himself  by  power,  and  so  the  Father  shall  have  some  glory  for* 
providing  a  Saviour  ;  Christ  shall  have  some  glory  for  paymg  9l. 
price,  and  the  Spirit  of  Christ,  which  only  can  draw  to  Christ, 
shall  lose  his  glory ;  and  so  this  man  may  take  it  to  himself. 
And  is  this  good,  think  you  ?     Col.  ii.  12,  '^  Risen  with  Christ 
through   faith  of  the  operation  of  God."     1  Pet.  i.  3,  "The 
same  power  that  raised  Christ  from  the  dead  must  raise  you  to 
a  lively   hope.'*     Matt  xxii.  1-3,  '^  One  man  came  from  his 
hedges  and  highways  to  the  feast  of  the  promise  and  ordinances 
of  the  gospel,  till  the  Lord  saw  him  without  Christ."     But,  John 
vi.  Gl,  (>5,  "  Unless  the  Father  reveals  Christ's  face,"  the  Father 
l)ersuades  thee  of  Christ's  love,  "  you  can  never  come  to  Christ ;" 
men  know  not  thy  hypocrisy,  thou  dost  not,  but  Jesus  doth,  and 
what  good  will  thy  faith  do  thee  then  ?  /it  was  a  sweet  speech 
of  Christ,  "  Thy  faith  has  saved  thee."     O,  heavy  when  it  shall 
be  said,  Thy  faith  has  damned  thee  ;  that  which  I  thought  to  be 
the  way  of  life  is  the  way  of  death :  truly,  so  it  will  if  you  do 
not  fetch  it  out  of  heaven. 

Sign  2.  Those  that  do  believe,  but  they  fail  in  the  object,  i.  e., 
they  close  with  Christ,  but  they  know  not  who  he  is  ;  that  as  the 
woman  of  Samaria,  that  had  some  lookings  to  the  Messiah,  she 
did  worship  whom  she  knew  not ;  so  men  believe  in  one  whom 
they  know  not,  only  have  heard  the  fame  of.  For  there  are  two 
things  in  the  gospel —  1.  The  outward  words  and  letters ;  2.  The 
tilings  contained  in  those  words.  Hence  tKere  is  a  double  knowl- 
edge oFClirist. 

1.  A  fantasy  knowledge,  as  a  man,  that  hears  of  any  thing 
absent,  presently  fancies  the  thing  in  his  head. 

2.  There  is  an  jntuitive  knowledge,  whereby  the  soul  doth 
not  only  see  words  and  fancies,  but  beholds  the  things  them- 
selves. Hence  it  comes  to  pass  that  many  a  man,  hearing  the 
same,  and  receiving  the  fancy  of  Christ,  believes  in  him,  but 
not  seeing  him  as  he  is,  therein  he  believes  in  one  whom  he 
knows  not ;  and  hence  the  Lord  Jesus  may  l>e  a  hid  thing  to 
many  a  man,  and  the  gospel  a  sealed  book,  though  he  lives  and 
remains  in  the  very  light  of  the  sun,  and  that  all  his  days. 
Hence  Clirist  laments  Jerusalem  — "  O  that  thou  hadst  known, 
but  now  hid,  hid ;"  and  yet  Christ  preached.  Yes,  (Dent.  xxix. 
4,)  "  You  have  heard  and  seen,  and  yet  the  Lord  ha5  not  given 
a  heart  to  see  to  this  day  : "  so  it  is  with  many  a  soul ;  you  have 
heard  witli  your  ears  the  great  things  of  the  kingdom  of  God, 


THE  TEN  VIRGINS.  201 

7^  the  Lord  has  not  given  you  eyes  to  see ;  you  have  seen  de- 
liverances on  sea,  yet  the  Ix)rd  has  not  given  you  hearts  to  un- 
<Ierstand ;  and  if  so,  all  your  faith  is  nought,  and  profession  and 
Section  vile,  and  estates  miserable.  2  Cor.  iii.  18,  *'A11  we 
^'ith  open  face,"  etc 
O&ject.  But  many  see  it  not  so. 

Am,  I  confess  some  may  see  more  darkly,  and  be  mourning 

Qoder  it ;  yet  he  that  doth  not  in  part,  he  to  whom  it  is  hid, 

(2  Cor.  iv.  3,  4,)  is  one  of  them  that  be  lost,  whose  ^^  eyes  Satan 

Us  blinded.''   John  vL  45,  ^'  He  that  has  heard  and  learned  of  the 

Father."     Many  hear^  but  never  learn  of  the   Father,  hence 

oerer  come  truly  unto  Christ :  it  is  in  this  case  as  it  is  with  a 

traitor ;  be  comes  to  the  king  for  his  life,  and  prays  for  his  son's 

sake  ;  the  king  sends  for  him,  and  saith.  Here  is  one  that  begs 

for  your  sake  ;  do  you  know  him  ?     For  my  sake  !     I  wonder 

on  what  acquaintance ;  he  is  a  stranger  to  me,  and  therefore  I 

regard  him  not.     So  here. 

4#yn  3.  Those  that  have  some  kind  of  sight  of  the  object,  and 
see  Christ,  but  there  is  a  wound  in  the  subject,  because  their 
faith  arises  and  springs  out  of  an  ill  soil,  it  is  in  such  a  party 
that  never  was  yet  thoroughly  rent  from  his  sin,  and  here  is  the 
great  wound  of  the  most  cunning  hypocrites  living ;  for  there 
are  two  things  in  him- — 

1 .  A  carnal  heart,  which  can  not  be  satisfied  with  a  spiritual 
good  with  Christ ;  hence  he  must  have  his  lust. 

2.  A  convinced  conscience,  which  can  not  be  quieted  without 
Christ  and  mercy ;  hence  men  close  with  Christ,  and  •  their  lusts 
too.  Look  as'  it  was  with  the  stony  ground  and  thorny  soil, 
they  believed,  but  had  a  stone  at  bottom  ;  "  but  roots  of  bitter- 
ness," etc.  These  men  can  sometimes  plead  acquaintance  with 
Christ,  (Luke  xiiL  26,  27,)  yet  "  workers  of  iniquity."  2  Pet 
ii.  19,  20.  Some  had  escaped  the  pollution  of  the  world,  (that 
you  may  do,)  but  a  swinish  nature  lasts,  that  they  never  felt,  or 
grew  not  in  the  feeling  of  it,  and  loosening  from  it ;  as  with 
apricot  trees  rooted  in  the  earth,  but  leaning  on  the  wall,  so  they 
on  Christ  O,  consider  of  this :  let  a  man  be  cast  down  as  low 
as  hell  by  sorrow,  and  lie  under  your  chains,  quaking  in  appre- 
hension of  terror  to  come ;  let  a  nian  then  be  raised  up  to  heaven 
in  joy,  not  able  to  live ;  let  a  man  reform  and  shine  like  an 
earthly  angel,  yet  if  not  rent  from  lust,  that  either  you  did  never 
see  it,  or  if  so,  you  have  not  followed  the  Lord  to  remove  it,  but 
proud,  dogged,  worldly,  sluggish  still,  false  in  your  dealings, 
cunning  in  your  tradings,  devils  in  your  families,  images  in  your 
churches ;  you  are  objects  of  pity  now,  and  shall  be  of  terror  at 


±0±  THE  PARABLE   OP 

the  great  day ;  for  where  sin  remains  in  power,  it  will  hrii^  M 
faith,  and  Christ,  and  jot  into  bondage  and  service  of  itself^, 

Si^n  4.  Those  that  believe,  yet  fail  of  saving  faith  in 
of  the  very  act  of  believing  and  closing  with   Christ,  viz,,  the;^ 
clo^e  with  Christ,  but  it  is  without  a  high  esteem  of  him  or  lor* 
to  him ;  they  have  some,  but  right  grace  consists  in  a  kind 
summity  or  excellency,  else  it  is  not  right.    1  Pet.  iL  5.    Tc^ 
you  that  believe  he  is  precious,  and  hence  it  comes  to  pass,  — 

1.  That  some  never  come  to  find  or  enjoy  Christ,  becaose  th«y 
will  not  come  off  to  the  price  of  him,  to  sell  themselves  out  oT 
all  fur  liim, 

2.  Some  sell  him  away  again  in  time  of  temptation,  like  Esoa 
that  sold  his  birthright,  and  never  make  any  thing  of  it ;  because 
the  bond  is  not  strong  enough,  down  they  fall  from  him. 

3.  Hence  comes  dll  a  man*s  uneven  carriage. 

4.  Hence  comes  sometimes  the  unpardonable  sin.  Heb.  x.  29. 
Many  a  man  lays  claim  to  Christ,  and  his  blood,  and  right- 
eousness, that  never  knew  the  worth  of  it ;  and  this  is  Christ's 
complaint,  methinks,  in  heaven,  (and  of  saints  on  earth,)  ^  He 
comes  unto  his  own, and  his  own  esteem  him  not;**  his  own  love 
him  not,  his  own  receive  him  not ;  him  that  is  the  glory  of 
heaven,  the  beauty  of  the  Father,  the  delight  of  saints,  the  won- 
derment of  angels  ;  he,  I  say,  is  not  esteemed  by  many  a  man 
that  in  his  judgment  esteems  him,  and  in  his  heart  does  despise 
him.  There  are  two  parts  of  this  esteem.  1.  To  esteem  him 
only.  John  v.  44.  2.  Him  ever  and  alway ;  (Ps.  Ixxiii.  26,) 
"  Thou  art  my  portion  forever."  Many  say  they  esteem  Christ, 
but  to  be  ever  loving  him,  ever  looking  on  him,  this  is  not  their 
frame.  O,  think  of  this ;  fail  here  of  your  valuing  of  him,  and 
you  fail  every  where. 

Sigyi  5.  Those  that  believe,  but  they  fail  in  their  end ;  and 
these  may,  for  a  while,  in  a  hot  fit,  prize  water,  prize  Christ  and 
mercy  above  all  things  in  the  world,  but  their  end  is  naught  t 
so  that  men  here  may  ask,  and  never  have,  because  of  their 
lusts.  As  a  man  that  lies  on  his  death  bed,  or  in  a  sea  storm  in 
fear  of  ht»ll,  he  may  now  prize  and  take  hold  on  Christ  to  save 
him.  A  man  lies  upon  the  bed  of  horror  of  heart,  he  may  prize 
Christ  to  comfort  him,  and  getting  a  conceit  of  it,  be  rapt  up 
almost  in  an  ecstasy  of  joy,  that  a  man  would  think  he  was 
senUnl  with  the  Spirit  of  Christ,  and  yet  his  end  being  naught, 
Christ  only  to  comfort  him,  misseth  of  Christ  in  conclusion  ;  for 
when  a  man  believes  indeed,  he  receives  Christ  for  the  end  the 
Father  sent  him,  viz.,  to  be  King  and  Sovereign  of  the  whole 
man,  as  well  as  Saviour;  (Ps.  xxiv.  7,)  "  Oiwn  your  gates,  that 


THE   TEN   VIBOINS.  203 

tbe  King  of  glory/'  etc ;  (Rom.  viii.  38,)  "  I  am  persuaded 
iK)thiog  shall  separate  us  from  the  love  of  Christ  Jesus  our 
I«rd;"  our  Lord  as  well  as  Jesus.  Indeed,  (John  vi.  15,) 
80Qie  did  receive  Christ  to  be  King,  but  it  was  that  he  might  be 
their  cook ;  he  provided  loaves  for  them  ;  so  here.  Ps.  Ixvi.  2, 
^i  *^  Because  of  thy  power,  thine  enemies  shall  flatteringly  sub- 
iQit.**    It  is  but  flattery,  not  faith ;  look  to  it,  therefore. 

Siffn  6.  Those  that  believe,  but  fail  in  regard  of  the  use  of 
tbe  gospel  and  of  the  Lord  Jesus ;  and  these  we  read  of,  (Jude  3,) 
^^  of  some  men  that  did  turn  "  grace  into  wantonness  ; "  for 
therein  appears  the  exceeding  evil  of  a  man's  heart,  that  not 
only  the  law,  but  also  the  glorious  gospel  of  the  Lord  Jesus 
works  in  him  all  manner  of  unrighteousness  ;  and  it  is  too  com- 
mon for  men  at  the  first  work  of  conversion,  O,  then  to  cry  for 
grace  and  Christ,  and  afterward  grow  licentious,  live  and  lie  in 
Uie  breach  of  the  law,  and  take  their  warrant  for  their  course 
from  the  gospeL     I  shall  not  name  all  the  ways  that  men  do  so, 
but  I  will  only  speak  that  which  conscience  and  compassion 
move  me  to ;  not  to  begin,  but,  if  passible,  to  still  division  ;  and 
what  I  shall  speak  shall  be  by  way  of  prevention. 

1.  Take  heed  of  making  graces  in  a  Christian  the  weaknesses 
of  a  Christian  ;  for  this  is  to  make  darkness  light  and  grace  wan- 
tonness indeed ;  is  it  not  ?  Take  heed,  then,  of  thinking  or  say- 
ing counterfeit  or  false  sanctification  consists  in  feeling  something 
in  a  man's  self,  as  love  to  delight  in  the  Lord  and  his  ways. 
True  sanctification  in  seeing  nothing,  no  love,  no  delight.  Why, 
the  apo6tle  Paul  knew  ^*  that  in  him  (i.  e.,  in  his  flesh)  dwelt  no 
good  thing ; "  but  he  calls  it  flesh  there,  and  groans  under  it,  yet 
he  felt  a  law  within  closing  with  the  law  without,  and  blessed  the 
Lord  for  it,  and  that  was  himself.  Do  you  think  the  Holy  Ghost 
comes  on  a  man  as  on  Balaam,  by  immediate  acting,  and  then 
leaves  him,  and  then  he  has  nothing  ?  Yes,  beloved,  know  you 
not  Christ  is  in  you  (2  Cor.  xiii.  5)  as  well  as  out  of  you  ;  in 
you,  comforting,  dwelling,  sanctifying,  preparing  the  heart  for 
himself?  Indeed,  to  be  puffed  up  with  grace,  or  rest  in  it,  is  a 
Bin ;  yet  that  grace  is  not  tliat  sin. 

2.  Take  heed  of  making  weaknesses  graces  or  duties ;  as,  — 
I'irsL  To  make  poverty  of  spirit  the  sight  of  nothing  in  a 

man's  self.  Why,  he  that  is  poor  has  heaven  for  his,  and  so 
Christ  and  promises,  and  has  faith  his,  at  least  some  seeds. 
Now,  to  see  nothing  now  is  to  see  an  untruth,  and  to  tell  a  flat 
lie  to  God,  and  men,  and  Scripture,  too.  Indeed,  a  man  that  is 
poor  doth  usually  see  nothing  ;  but  that  is  his  weakness,  not  any 
grace. 


204  THE  PARABLE  OF 

Secondly.  To  say  there  is  no  difference  between  graces 
hypocrites  and  saints.     Why  so  ?     Because  I  can  not  see  tsk^^^ 
Is  this  your  weakness  or  your  wisdom,  you  can  see  none  ?    Ai^  ^ 
will  you  make  your  weakness  your  religion  ? 

Thirdly.  That  a  man  must  not  evidence  his  justification  by  }xM^ 
sanctification ;   I  speak  of  that  which  accompanies   salvatiois-'* 
Why  so  ?     Because  then  there  will  be  comfort  to-day  and  wr^ 
row  to-morrow.     Grant  it ;  but  then  consider,  1.  That  is  either 
a  man's  weakness  and  ignorance  that  he  doth  not  see  it ;  or,  2. 
His  wickedness  and  carelessness  that  has  stained  that  work. 
And  will  you  make  this  a  duty,  a  grace  ?     O,  but  many  have 
been  deceived  here.    Grant  it ;  and  will  you  make  your  wretched 
baseness  of  heart  the  foundation  of  this  conceit  ? 

Fourthly.  That  a  man  must  see  no  saving  work  nor  take  com- 
fort from  any  promise  until  he  is  sealed.     No.     Why  so  ?     Be- 
cause many  tall   Christians  have  deceived  themselves  sOy  and 
deluded  themselves  there,  and  been  kept  off  from  Christ,  and 
truly  I  believe  it  in  part.     But  what  of  that?     Shall  men's 
weakness  be  my  religion  or  work  ?     No,  beloved ;  for  a  man 
believes  before  he  is  sealed.   Eph.  i.  15.     And  hence  Christ  is 
his  ;  and  now  for  him  to  deny  Christ  to  be  his  own  is  to  make 
Christ  a  liar,  (1  John  v.  10,  12,  13;)  not  that  I  would  have 
Christians  content  themselves  here  (it  is  a  sign  you  never  knew 
what  Christ  mean^if  you  do  so)  till  he  shall  send  a  more  full 
gale  of  his  Spiritc 
1 — '3.  If  you  do  account  them  weaknesses,  yet  Aake  heed  your 
\  closing  with  Christ  do  not  cause  you  to  make  k  light  matter  of 
sin  ;  either  not  to  take  notice  of  sins  at  all,  only  look  to  Christ, 
(it  is  not  I,  but  sin,  as  being  the  act  of  the  outward  man  ;  one 
calls  tliis  to  unknow  a  man's  self,)  or  not  to  be  deeply  sensible 
of  them,  and  so  use  Christ  as  your  shoe-clout  to  wipe  them  off. 
I  O,  this  is  dangerous  !     The  spirit  of  joy  never  quenched  the 
\^  spirit  of  sorrow.     Capernaum  entertained  Christ,  and  yet  per- 
ished.    O,  slie  repented  not     What,  must  we  repent  after  we 
be  in  Christ?     Yes,  (Jer.  xxx.  19,)  "After  I  was  turned  I  re- 
pented."    It  argues  a  bold  conscience,  when  men,  as  they  look 
to  no  good  themselves,  so  to  no  sin  in  themselves,  but  wholly  to 
Christ. 

4.  Take  heed  of  those  doctrines  which  in  show  lift  up  grace, 
but  indeed  pull  it  down,  or  any  part  of  it ;  as,  — 

First.  To  think  that  the  letter  of  the  whole  Scripture  holds 
out  no  more  than  a  covenant  of  works,  a  most  prodigious  speech, 
'   though  colored  with  advancing  a  spiritual  covenant  of  grace,  and 
no  word  but  Christ 


THE  TEN    VIRGINS.  205 

&c(nidfy.  Under  a  show  of  advancing  Grod's  grace  in  doing 
4  to  saj  the  ordinances  are  not  means,  but  only  occasions  of 
conversion. 

Thirdly,  Under  a  show  of  giving  all  to  grace,  to  abolish  that 
I^  truth,  as  to  say  we  are  not  justified  by  faith,  which,  though 
it  be  trae,  not  really ;  i.  e.,  not  simply  by  faith  in  itself,  consid- 
ered as  a  work,  yet  to  say,  [not  relatively,  as  the  Lord  is  appre- 
hended by  it,]  it  is  false.  If  we  cast  off  the  power  of  the  truth, 
J^t  let  us  not  cast  off  the  form  of  it ;  keep  the  form  of  whole- 
<»oine  words  as  well  as  truths. 

Fourthly,  Take  heed  of  maintaining  that  a  man  until  scaled 

li  not  persuaded  to  believe,  under  a  show  of  letting  the  Spirit  of 

grace  do  alL      And,  brethren,  doth   not  the  Spirit  of  grace 

accompany  the  word  of  grace  ?     Are  not  evangelical  commands 

part  of  that  word  ?     Is  there  not  a  power  going  along  with 

ihem  ?     What  is  this  but  to  take  from  God's  book  ?     And  he 

tiiat  so  doth,  God  will  blot  him  out  of  the  book  of  life.  Rev. 

xxii.  19. 

Fifthly,  That  a  Christian  is  to  gather  no  assurance  from  par- 
ticular conditional  promises,  under  color  of  receiving  all  from 
Clirist  and  grace.  True,  them  that  have  nothing  to  do  with 
them  ought  not ;  but  for  those  that  have  to  do  with  them  as 
their  inheritance  not  to  apply  and  make  use  of  them  for  their 
comfort,  it  is  to  trample  under  foot  Christ's  blood,  that  has  pur- 
cliased  them  for  that  end,  and  it  is  to  raze  out  in  our  practice 
the  greatest  part  almost  of  the  covenant  of  grace. 

Sixthly,  That  the  law  ought  not  to  be  our  rule  of  life,  under  a 
show  of  being  freed  from  it  by  Christ,  as  though  Christ  came  to 
set  hell  gates  open  for  men  to  do  what  they  please.  Shall  I  say 
any  more  ?  I  am  weary  with  speaking ;  I  desire  rather  to  go 
a<ide  and  mourn,  and  to  think  there  is  somewhat  amiss  why  the 
Lord  lets  these  out.  You  that  are  sincere,  search  and  keep 
close  with  Christ,  and  fetch  more  life  from  him,  and  though 
accounted  under  a  covenant  of  works  with  men,  yet  rejoice ; 
you  know  it  is  better  with  you  in  his  sight  And  you  that  are 
weak,  beware  and  take  heed  and  do  not  consider  what  I,  but  the 
Holy  Ghost,  has  cleared  this  day ;  and  as  for  all  them  that  do 
turn  grace  into  lasciviousness,  not  intentionally,  but  practically ; 
not  in  all  things,  but  some  things  ;  consider  this  scripture,  (Jude 
4.)  men  ^ordained  to  this  condemnation."  They  thrive  and 
have  no  hurt,  and  they  joy.  O,  but  they  have  condemnation 
enough  upon  them.  Do  but  consider,  (verse  12,  13,)  "  twice 
dead ; "  dead  in  Adam,  then  quickened  by  Christ  with  common 
gifU  and  graces,  then  die  and  turn  grace  into  wantonness,  for 

VOL.  II.  18 


206  THE  PARABLE   OF 

whom  is  reserved  the  very  blackness  of  darkness  forever.    Th^/ 
bring  in  painted  profaneness. 

Use  3.  O,  take  heed,  then,  lest  you  fall  short  of  Christ  bj 
unl)elicf.  Ileb.  iv.  1.     Christ  must  do  alL     O,  but  take  hee4 
use  means,  and  then  put  the  work  into  his  hands  to  make  faidi 
right.  Ileb.  xii.  1,  2,  <^  Looking  to  Jesus  the  author  and  fiD* 
isher."     Suppose  Christ  was  here  on  earth,  and  thou  shouldst 
beg  it,  would  he  deny  thee  ?    O,  no ;  beg  hard,  therefore,  now. 


CHAPTER  XV. 

showing  tuat  there  is  a  vast  difference  betwixt  a  sin- 
cere christian  and  the  closest  hypocrite. 

Section  L 

Doct,  3.  That  there  is  a  vast  and  great  internal  difference 
between  those  that  are  sincere  indeed  and  the  closest  hypocrites ; 
or  there  are  certain  qualifications  within,  and  operations  of  Grod 
upon  the  souls  of  the  faithful,  which  make  a  very  great  differ- 
ence between  them  and  the  closest  hypocrites. 

For  the  Lord  Jesus  here  sees  the  difference,  and  shows  the 
difference,  though  but  generally,  I  confess,  in  this  verse  :  "  Some 
were  wise,  others  were  foolish."     Wisdom  and  folly  are  different 
rqualities,  and  though  these  keep  their  residence  chiefly  in  the 
'  mind,  yet  the  Lord  never  did  infuse  any  true  wisdom  into  the 
mind  but  there  was  a  great  change  of  the  heart,  nor  never  was 
.  any  man  left  unto  his  own  folly  but  it  did  not  only  argue  an  evil 
I  heart,  but  did  ever  arise  from  thence.  Eph.  iv.  18.     So  that 
Christ  not  only  sees,  but  discovers  to  the  churches,  a  vast  differ- 
ence for  them  to  tiike  notice  of.     I  confess  the  difference  was 
not  only  in  regard  of  open  profaneness,  or  common  conversation 
in  living  like  men  of  the  world,  yet  a  difference  here  there  is. 
For  the  opening  of  this  point,  I  shall  open  these  particulars  :  — 

1.  That  the  Lord  does  make  this  inward  difference. 

2.  That  it  is  so  great  that  the  faithful  do  see  it 

3.  That  it  is  so  great  that  others  can  not  receive  it  when  it  is 
offered. 

4.  That  it  is  so  great  that  they  can  not  understand  it. 

5.  The  reasons  why  the  Lord  makes  this  internal  difference. 
1.  That  the  Lord  does  make  it.     Only  some  scriptures  now, 

(Eph.  V.  8,)  "  You  were  darkness,  now  are  light ; "  (Eph.  ii.  1,) 
"You  were  dead,  now  are  alive."     It  is  true, there  is  a  life 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS,  207 

hypocrites  have  whioh  puis  mucli  ilifFerence  between  them  and 
othurs ;  but  if  that  does,  what  does  the  life  of  Christ  in  a  man 
smJDg  from  the  death  of  every  sin?  Acts  xsvi.  IS.  The 
Lord  turns  not  only  from  "  darkness  to  hght,  Imt  from  the 
power  of  Salan  to  God,"  together  with  which  arises  remission 
of  sins.  What  is  this,  then,  but  a  greater  change  than  from  hell 
to  heaven?  Is  it  not  worse  than  hell  to  be  under  liis,  not  only 
lemptatioDB,  hut  power  'f  And  is  it  not  better  to  be  with  God 
and  be  in  heaven? 

S.  It  is  so  great  that  the  faithful  do  see  it.  I  confess  at  fir<:t 
work  it  is  like  a  confused  chaos  ;  they  know  not  what  to  make 
of  it,  but  aA«rwards  they  can  and  do.  1  John  v.  18,  19.  We 
know  we  are  "  bom  of  God,  free  from  the  dominion  of  sin,"  of 
which  he  speaks,  and  that  the  whole  world  lies  in  wickedness. 
Before  a  man  is  born  again,  he  neee  no  difference  between  him 
and  other  men ;  hut  now  he  doth ;  and  hence  it  is  frequent  in 
Scripture  for  saints  to  eipreaa  their  esperience  of  their  double 
estate,  (Tit.  iii,  2, 3 ;)  and  they  are  commanded  to  try  themselves, 
and  may  not  only  see  Christ  out  of  them,  but  Clirist  in  tliem, 
except  they  be  reprobates,  (2  Cor.  xiii.  5  ;)  and  hence  command 
to  give  thanks  for  this,  (Col.  i.  1'2,  13,)  which  commands,  being 
evangelical,  have  a  power  to  all  the  elect 

3.  It  is  60  great  that  others  can  not  receive  it  when  it  is  offered ; 
they  are  so  for  from  having  it  in  them,  or  counterfeiting,  or 
making  this  inward  work,  that  they  can  not  receive  it,  no,  not 
when  the  Spirit  itself  comes  to  work  it;  (John  xiv.  17,)  "The 
Spirit  of  truth,  which  the  world  can  not  receive."  It  doth  re- 
«circ  prophetical  gifts  and  common  graces  ;  but  there  ia  a  higher 
and  more  divine  work  which  they  can  not  receive ;  (Gom.  viii.  7,) 
^-  It  is  not  subject,  nor  can  be  subject,  to  the  law  of  God,"  where 
Che  holine^  of  God  appears. 

4.  It  is  so  great  tliat  they  can  not  understand  it  what  it  is 
^spiritually,  only  in  fancy ;  (1  Cor.  ii.  1 4,)  "  Neither  can  he  know 
«hem."    And  hence  men  lie  grophig  all  tlieir  life  for  grace,  and 

~;  and  have  not,  because  they  know  not  the  thing  tboy  would 

Mre;  (John  iv.  10,)  "If  thou  knewest,  thou  wouldstask.and  he 

Buld  give-"     A  beaat  can  not  conceive  what  a  life  a  man  leads. 

'.  Now  follow  the  reasons  why  the  Lord  doth  make  this  in< 

d  difference,  or  showing  that  there  is  difference. 


Beaton  1.  In  regard  to  the  infinite  love  of  the  Father,  which 
lie  bears  to  the  meanest  believer  above  the  must  glorious  hypo- 


SOS  THE   l-AKABLK   OP 

crite  that  over  lived.  It  is  an  ererlosling  love,  and  it  is  like  thit 
lovo  lie  beare  toward  his  own  Son.  John  xvii.  16.  Now,  if  ths 
Lord's  love  be  not  common  to  both,  neilher  is  the  work  or  fhiill 
of  his  love  common  in  both,  but  a  great  difference  there  must  be ; 
for  aa  it  is  with  men,  so  it  is  with  the  Lord.  There  ore  three 
expressions  oflove.  1.  Their  looks.  2.  Their  promises  of  love. 
3.  Their  works  of  love.     So  the  Lord  doth,  — 

1.  Create  in  his  people  glorious  apprehe-nsions  of  his  blessed 
face  appearing  in  the  glass  of  the  gospel.   Rev.  xxiL  4. 

3.  The  Lord  mokes  many  promises  of  love  unto  hts  people, 
which  go  to  the  very  heart  to  cheer  them.  Hos.  ii.  14. 

3.  The  Lord  confines  not  his  love  to  looks  and  words,  thongh 
it  is  wonderful  to  have  the  least  of  them ;  but  you  may  read  hifl 
love  in  bis  works  pf_lave.  Now,  those  works  peculiar  to  them 
are,  6rst  and  chiefly,  the  donation  of  Christ,  for  a  man  in  redemp- 
tion  to  a  man  in  vocation ;  and  then  the  pecuhar  fruits  of  thia 
love,  expressed  in  peculiar  operations  upon  the  soul  and  in  the 
sonl,  which  God's  truth  in  the  new  covenant  promises,  and  God's 
faitlifulness  executetb,  (Jer.  xsxi.  33,  and  sxxii.  40 ;)  to  take 
away  the  "  stony  heart,"  to  write  "  laws  in  the  heart."  to  "  pat 
fear  into  (he  heart."  These  are  the  peculiar  effects  of  this  new 
covenant,  and  they  are  operations  in  a  man,  which  only  the  elect 
feel  and  wonder  at  grace  for;  (Eph.  ii.  4,  6,)  "According  to  hie 
great  love  hath  he  quickened  ua  ti^ether  with  him."  TTiere  is 
a  kind  of  resurrection  of  a  man's  soul  when  it  is  broa^t  home 
to  ChrisL  Look  as  the  bodies  of  the  saints  shall  be  different  at 
the  last  day ;  so  when  God  raisoth  their  souls  from  the  dead 
here,  there  is  a  difference  now. 

Jieatoa  2.  In  regard  of  the  death  and  blood  of  the  Lord  JesuB, 
which  was  abed  not  otdy  that  he  might  be  a  God  unto  them,  but 
that  they  might  be  a  "  peculiar  people  "  unto  him,  (Tit.  ii.  14,) 
"  He  gave  himself  for  his  people,"  not  only  to  justify  his  people, 
but  also  to  cleanse  his  church.  Epb.  v.  26,  27.     For  this  has 

I  been  God's  great  plot,  first,  to  perfect  his  people  in  their  head  ; 
and  then,  lest  there  should  be  a  golden  head,  and  feet  and  hands 
of  iron  and  ciny,  and  because  the  church  is  not  found  lovely, 
therefore  the  Lord  makes  it  lovely  by  Utile  and  Uttle  here,  until 
it  "appear  witliout  spot  or  wrinkle"  at  the  last  day.  Do  yoii 
.think,  brethren,  that  Clirist's  blood  was  shed  to  work  no 
hia  [leople  than  in  hj-pocrilea?  Was  it  only  shed  to  lake  awi 
guilt  of  sin  from  God's  sight,  and  then  let  a  man  wallow  in 
rails  of  his  own  heart?  Jt  is  true,  lliere  is  a  work  of  $anctific»- 
Ition  which  hyjKjcrites  have,  which  Christ's  blood  purchases,  for  I 
jhclieve  all  common  mercy  and  patience  comes  by  Christ's  blood. 


THE  TEN  VIRGINS.  209 


^  80  an  oommon  gifU  and  graces ;  but  yet,  beloved,  there  is  a 

vast  difference ;  their  wills  were  never  changed,  though  their 

minds  were  much  enlightened ;  hence  they  sinned  willfully.   The_ 

Lord  never  was  dear  to  them ;  hence  secret  despite  grew  up, 

thai  at  last  they  committed  the  unpardonable  sin.  Hos.  x.  26,  29. 

Reason  3.   Because  those  graces  or  qualifications,  together 

with  the  operations  of  them  which  are  in  the  faithful,  are  the 

same  with  Christ's ;  the  same  in  kind  and  nature;  (John  i.  16,) 

"  From  his  fullness  we  have  received  grace  for  grace."     Hence 

we  are  said  to  ^  bear  his  image  ; "  and  because  it  is  but  little  at 

first,  hence  "from  glory  to  glory."    2  Cor.  iii.  18.     Now,  the 

Lord  Jesus  had  not  only  the  Spirit  which  he  had  without  measure, 

but  also  he  had  many  divine  qualities,  habits,  or  graces,  which 

it  is  blasphemy  to  think  that  they  were  hypocritical  or  common, 

which  the  faithful  receive  from  his  fullness,  and  wherein  they 

are  made,  in  their  measure,  like  unto  him.     So  the  saints  have 

not  only  the  Spirit,  but  also  those  peculiar  operations  of  it 

wrought  in  them  by  the  Spirit,  whereby  they  come  to  be  made 

like  unto  the  Lord  Jesus.     Hence,  as  there  was  an  infinite  dis- 

tsmce  between  the  Lord  Jesus  and  the  best  hypocrite,  so  the 

likeness  that  they  have  of  the  Lord  Jesus  makes  a  difference 

DOW.     And  look,  as  there  is  a  difference  between  a  plant  and  a 

beast,  a  beast  and  a  man,  so  there  is  a  glorious  life  which  saints 

have  begun  here  in  this  life,  which  none  have  but  themselves. 

1  Pet.  V.  10.     They  have  the  "  first  fruits,"  the  which  is  meat 

and  drink,  which  no  man  knows  of  that  lies  in  hypocrisy  and 

sins. 

Beason  4.  If  there  should  be  no  difference,  then  these  evils 
would  follow :  1.  This  lays  a  foundation  of  contempt  of  grace, 
and  of  the  beauty  of  holiness  in  the  hearts  and  lives  of  God's 
people ;  for  look,  as  it  is  in  the  work  of  the  Son  in  redemption, 
if  Christ  should  liave  died  as  much  for  Judas  as  for  Feter,  and 
suspended  the  act  of  faith  to  apply  this  on  the  free  will  of  either, 
then  Judas  had  as  much  cause  to  thank  Christ  for  his  kindness 
as  Peter ;  and  Peter  had  no  more  cause  of  blessing  Christ  for 
his  love  in  redeeming  him  than  Judos ;  and  what  cold  praises 
will  he  then  give  him !  So  if  the  Spirit  of  Christ  shouM  sanc- 
tify or  call  a  saint  no  more  than  a  hypocrite,  then  the  one  has 
no  more  cause  to  be  thankful  for  the  work  of  the  Spirit  tlian  the 
other ;  ami  when  a  man  comes  to  look  upon  the  work  of  the 
Spirit,  and  the  graces  of  it,  there  is  cold  water  ca^it  upon  those  ; 
this  is  no  more  than  what  a  hypocrite  has.  Christ  has  not  only 
redeemed  by  price,  but  also  by  power,  from  tlie  power  of  Sjitan, 
sin,  darkness,  delusion ;  and  not  to  be  thankful  for  this  is  not  to 

18* 


I 


£10  THE   PARABLE   OP 

be  lliankful  for  the  redemption  of  Chriat.  Thou  shall  nev« 
liiLve  it  lli^n  that  dost  despise  tbc  Spirit  of  grace,  wherebj  the 
art  but  commonly  eanctified. 

2.  Bemuse  this  abolishes  the  u^e  of  all  conilitional  promisM 
made  in  tlie  worO  ;  for  you  know  they  are  made  to  some  quali- 
fication or  work  of  the  Spirit  in  a  man,  some  to  mourniag,  pov- 
erty, faith,  hunger,  lostncss,  etc. ;  now,  if  there  should  be  no 
difference  between  seeming  works  in  hypocrites  and  these,  theo, 
1.  The  Irulh  of  the  promises  is  deslroyed ;  for  the  Lord  sailh, 
"  They  that  hunger  shall  be  satisfied."  I  will  nuswer.  Hypocrites 
may  hunger,  and  yet  not  he  »atisHed.  2.  The  use  of  these 
promises  should  he  lost ;  for  why  should  a  man  then  east  liis  sodI 
upon  God's  faithfulness  in  die  promise,  when  it  is  but  commou 
lore  to  him  and  hypocrites  ?  If  it  he  replied,  the  one  has  Christ, 
the  other  not,  I  answer,  it  is  eery  true ;  but  then  I  nsk,  who  ii 
he  a  Christ  to?  It  must  needs  be  (o  a  particular  people  de- 
scribed in  the  word  by  their  peculiar  qualities,  flowing;  from  their 
forms  and  subjects  by  which  they  are  known ;  and  now  con- 
sider, (Rev.  xxii.  19,)  "Is  God  a  God  of  the  dead,  and  not  of  j 
the  living  only?"  ■ 

3.  Because  this  makes  the  moat  holy  men  that  ever  lived  deed*'*  B 
ersofthemselvea  and  others;  only  look  upon  John,  Christ's  belove^  J 
disciple  and  bosom  companion ;  he  had  received  the  anoinling 
to  know  him  that  is  true,    "and  he  knew  he  knew  him."   1 
John  ii.  3.     But  how  did  he  know  that  ?  He  might  he  deceived, 
(as  it  is  strange  to  see  what  a  melancholy  fancy  will  do,  and  the 
eficcta  of  it ;  aa  honest  men  are  reputed  to  have  weak  brainy 
and  never  saw  the  depths  of  the  secrets  of  God.)     What  is  his 
last  proof?     "  Because  we  know  his  commandments,"  i.  e,,  we 
bnve  them  writ  in  our  bearia,  and  keep  them,  though  we  can  not 
fulfill  them,  it  mokes  us  every  way  more  holy.     Christ  doth  not 
keep  them  only,  but  we  through  his  grace  keep  them ;  thus  he 
proves  it  by  a  work  in  him.     Now,  thus  I  reply  :  If  all  works  in 
the  aoula  of  sainla  be  common  to  hypocrites,  then  John  went  f 
upon  false  grounds,  deceived  himself  and  all  that  heard  him,  w 
all  the  churches  that  ever  were  to  this  day. 

Section  III. 

U»e\.   Of  Confat.    To  the  Papists,  who,  in  their  vi 
seek  to  shame  the  churches  of  Christ,  saying,  that  tliey  d 
"  inherent  rigliteousness  or  graces,"  making  a  man  just  by  ti 
righteousneas  of  Christ ;  and  in  the  mean  while  to  remain  '" 
curca-is  or  ghost,  or  a  painted  sepulehei*,  full  of  rottenness  w 


TOE  TEN    VIROINS,  211 

Threeoffourof  these  arcbers  ihat  have  shot  these  arrows  I  have 

Md  with,  whereby  tbey  wound  tlie  heart  of  profession,  and  keep 

tbc  people  in  a  professed  enmily  and  opposition  a^nst  the  ways 

uf  tiod's  graec.     Now,  we  do  not  only  deny  this,  but  we  profess 

ilua  Ibe  Lord  doth  not  only,  out  of  the  rjuhes  of  his  grace,  accept 

iM  in  Christ,  but  out  of  the  same  love  sends  down  the  Spirit  of 

puce,  nol  only  lo  muke  us  civil  and  moraL  or  hypocritical,  but 

■hit  die  Lord  works  I  hereby"  such  a  change  as  is  not  to  be  found 

in  ihe  most  refined  hypocrite's  breatliing.      And  we  profess, 

ibuugh  our  Justification  doth  oot  consist  in  this,  yet  whoever  batli 

Dot  this  is  not  justified  (whatever  he  may  ima^ne)  iu  the  sight 

of  God.     And  tlie  Lord  grant  the  diurches  of  the  Lord  Jesus 

may  never  open  tlie  mouilis  of  thoi'e  blasphemers  of  his  name, 

in  denying  all  righteousness  in  ourselves  at  all ;  deny  it  to  justify, 

deny  it  not  altogether. 

tie  2.  Of  Confut.  Of  an  old  Arminian  error ;  for  they  hold 
xaA  maintain  an  "  inherent  righteousness,"  but  that  there  is  no 
differpnce  between  the  graces  of  believers  and  bypocxites,  only 
in  lUeir  continuance,  and  tliat  is  by  chance,  too,  and  doubtful, 
rii.,  if  they  hold  on,  and  for  this  purpose  cite  many  scriptures, 
ihrve  paseuges  espectally,  that  of  Ezek.  sviii.  34,  "  K  the  righl- 
«cui  man  forsake,"  etc,  which  is  spoken  of  rotten  Fharisaieal 
hypocrile?*  falling  far  short  of  what  the  siiints  have ;  and  the 
parable  of  the  seed,  "  They  all  sprang  up  ;"  where  it  is  manifest 
the  tm\  was  naught,  out  of  which  lliey  ibat  fell  away  did  grow ; 
and,  (ileli.  x,  29,)  "  Blood  wherewiib  they  were  sanctified," 
whirh  U  meant  of  such  as  had  some  inward  enlightening,  and 
buiing  and  external  profession  really  not  in  appearance  only  in 
them,  yet  not  any  saving  and  effectual  work  j  but,  Ibus  by  mak- 
ing grace  common,  they  make  it  vile ;  and  under  a  color  of  mak- 
ing  all  men  watchful,  they  destroy  all  faith  iu  Giod's  faithfulness 
and  promise,  especially  until  a  man  come  (o  die.  Divines  have 
miany  strong  arguments  against  them,  and  show,  however  there 
may  tie  decays,  and  relapses,  and  winter  seasons  of  the  saints,  yet 
ever  tliere  remains  in  them  the  "  seed  of  Gk>d."  1  John  iii.  9  ; 
John  iv.  H.  n.^^c-.-^' 

The  main  ground  of  Ibis  their  conceit  is  double. 
1.  False  observation,  in  beholding  many  fall  off  that  were  u 
ftars,  but  snuffs,  glorious  professors  fur  a  time ;  and  lest  tbe^ 
rhunUl  be  mad  without  reason  herein,  they  search  the  Scriptures, 
wmI  in  four  thousand  years  find  but  four  or  five  that  fall  away ; 
Ikvid.  Solumon.  llymcneus,  Alexander,  and  Demas,  none  of 
"Ich,  tf  examined,  will  serve  llieir  turn.  ^. 

,  A  great  mistake  of  the  work  of  grace,  together  with  their^ 


212  THE   PARABLE   OF 

own  experience,  for  they,  conceiving  grace  to  be  but  a  meas 
thing,  and  not  understajiding  it,  because  they  never  felt  it  in 
themselves,  hence  make  no  ditiference  between  one  man  and 
another,  and  hence  maintain  apostivsy  from  grace.  I  hope  I 
need  not  stir  you  up  to  abhor  this  conceit,  considering  what  has 

[begn  said./  I  grant,  indeed,  a  man  may  fall  away  from  graoe> 
considering  grace  without  Cln-ist  to  keep  it.  But  yet  it  is  in  it- 
self such  a  living  fountain,  as  in  itself  does  not  perish,  though  ii 
may ;  and  in  respect  of  Christ,  it  can  not. 

Object.  Did  not  Adam  fall  from  all  his  grace  ? 
Atis,  Yes,  because  he  had  neither  the  covenant  of  grace,  nor 
the  Spirit  of  grace,  nor  power  of  grace  to  support  and  keep  him ; 
but  it  is  Grod's  covenant  now  to  write  his  law,  to  put  his  fear  in 
the  heart,  never  to  depart,  and  to  give  the  Spirit  of  Christ,  who 
is  now  risen  from  the  dead.  "Because  I  live,  you  shall  live 
also,"  (John  xiv.  19,)  and  "power  to  keep  us."  1  Pet.  i.  5.  So 
that  though  it  is  Christ  that  keeps  a  man  from  falling,  yet  the 
truth  is,  he  that  does  fall  from  grace,  as  though  it  was  a  common 
fading  thing,  or  does  fall  from  Christ,  he  never  had  Christ  at  all ; 
(John  iv.  1 4,)  "  The  water  that  I  shall  give  shall  be  a  spring 
of  living  water,"  not  of  dead  graces,  yet  quickened  by  the  Spirit, 
and  helped  continually.  And  it  is  kept  till  life  of  glory  comes, 
where  it  is  swallowed  up  in  the  ocean  of  {Kirfection. 

Use  3.  Hence  we  see  the  difference  between  the  graces  of 
hypocrites  and  saints  does  not  only  lie  in  the  efficient  cause,  viz., 
the  Spirit  of  Christ  barely  considered  in  itself,  for  then  there 
should  be  no  difference  at  all ;  for  there  are  not  two  Spirits,  and 
the  same  Spirit  that  works  in  the  faithful,  the  same  Spirit  is  in 
the  unfaithful  to  work  many  strange  works  in  them.  1  Cor.  xii. 
3,  4.  Neither  does  supernatural  power  of  the  Spirit  distinguish, 
(I  mean  that  which  is  above  the  strength  of  nature,  not  that 
which  is  above  the  use  of  nature ;  for  nature  crooks  all  God's 
works  to  itself,)  for  the  gifts  of  prophecy  and  common  joy  are 
above  the  strength  of  mere  nature,  but  the  difference  lies  in  the 

.  work  it.self.  As  it  is  in  creation,  the  least  spear  of  grass  has  the 
same  power  to  make  it  that  made  heaven  and  angels ;  is  there 
no  difference  then  ?  Yes,  it  lies  in  the  very  work  or  effect  of 
that  power.  And  as  it  is  in  a  cedar  and  a  fly,  there  is  more 
excellency  in  the  former,  in  some  respects,  but  the  latter  has 
another  life,  which  the  other  has  not ;  so  the  meanest  believer  is 
better  than  the  most   glorious  hypocrite.  /And  look  as  it  was 

I  With  Saul,  when  he  was  anointed  king,  there  was  a  new  spirit 

»  came  upon  him,  the  spirit  of  a  ^ing,  which  common  subjects  had 
not;  so  when  God  nuikes  us  kings  and  priests  unto  Christ,  there 


THE   TEN   YIROINS.  218 

comes  another  spirit  upon  us,  which  common  men  have  not.  I  know 
there  is  the  Spirit  itself  in  the  saints,  as  it  is  not  in  other  men. 
Bat  how  is  it  there  ?    I  know  it  is  there  by  faith,  but  not  only  b^ 
this,  butby  certain  peculiar  effects  which  are  not  in  other  men 
Aa  iris  with"  the  soul,  it  is  in  the  body,  hence  works  a  life  whic 
is  not  in  any  brute  creature ;  so  it  is  here.     And  hence  it  is  sai 
"The  world  can  not  receive  it.*yjohn  xiv.  17.    Mai.  iii.  2,  8, 
**  Who  is  able  to  bear  his  coming  r  because  he  comes  to  purif 
etc  /TTet  still  the  Spirit,  barely  considered  in  itself,  puts  no  dif- 
ference, unless  it  be  in  respect  of  the  work  itself.     O,  therefore, 
look  to  it,  do  not  say,  I  have  now  the  Spirit  and  Christ    But  what 
does  Christ  work  there  ?    John  xv.  1,  2.     There  are  but  two 
sorts  of  branches  there,  fruitless  and  fi*uitful ;  the  difference  is 
in  the  very  fruits  of  them,  etc. 

Use  4.  O,  then  terror  to  them  that  content  themselves  with 
oomdion  works,  and  so  think  their  estates  good.  You  have  been 
terrified,  confessed,  and  repented ;  Judas  did  so.  You  have  re- 
formed many  things,  and  take  delight  to  draw  nigh  to  Grod  in 
ordinances;  those  hypocrites  did  so.  Isaiah.  You  have  had 
great  ravishments,  and  seen  the  glory  of  heaven,  of  saints; 
Balaam  did  so.  You  have  beheld  and  seen  the  Lord  Jesus,  as 
if  present  on  earth ;  many  saw  him,  heard  him,  and  were  lifted 
up  to  heaven  by  him,  and  shall  see  him  at  last  in  glory  indeed. 
O,  but  my  desires  are  good ;  many  shall  seek  and  not  enter.  O, 
therefore,  consider  of  your  estate,  and  tremble,  and  set  before 
thee  all  the  mercy  the  Lord  embraceth  his  people  with ;  and  say, 
O,  that  mercy  for  me ;  and  follow  him  till  he  lias  done  it. 

Section   IV. 

Use  5.  Hence  it  may  appear  that  the  true  believer  may  know 
the  blessedness  of  his  estate,  by  the  peculiamess  of  a  work 
within  him.  For  if,  indeed,  there  should  be  no  difference  be- 
tween those  graces  that  be  in  hypocrites  and  in  saints,  if  no  dif- 
ference between  love,  and  faith,  and  desire  in  one,  and  that  which 
is  in  another,  then  none  could  know  the  ble:*sednes8  of  their 
estates  by  any  work  ;  but  seeing  that  the  Lonl  has  made  a  vast 
and  a  known  difference,  so  that  God  knows  it,  and  themselves 
know  it,  as  has  been  proved,  and  nil  the  worid  might  know  it, 
but  that  they  want  eyes  to  see  men's  hearts,  and  they  sliall  know 
it  at  the  last  day  to  their  eternal  anfruish,  **  when  the  hidden  things 
of  darkness  "  and  the  "  secrets  of  all  hearts  shall  be  opened ; " 
then  it  must  needs  follow,  from  Ihe  knowledge  of  such  a  work,  a 
man  may  conclude  his  blessed  and  safe  estate.     By  work  I  mean 


214  THE   PARABLE   OF 

no  Popish  goo<l  work,  nor  consider  a  work  without  a  pecoliar 
word  of  promise  made  thereunto.  If  we  should  ask  a  woman 
married  to  another  husband,  how  she  knows  such  a  one  is  her 
husband,  she  would  manifest  it  by  those  peculiar  acts,  or  works, 
or  manifestations  of  a  husband  to  her.  She  has  known  he  has 
forsaken  great  offers,  and  come  to  her.  Her  heart  was  most 
opposite,  was  at  last  overcome  to  forsake  all ;  then  thej  entered 
into  a  peculiar  bond  of  covenant,  so  that  thej  can  not  part ;  and 
though  they  do  depart,  yet  they  stay  not  long ;  so  here.  If  yoa 
■should  have  asked  the  Israelites  how  they  did  know  they  shmdd 
be  saved  from  the  destroying  angel,  —  Why,  the  Lord  has  prom- 
ised to  save  us.  You  that  do  what  ?  That  ^^  sprinkle  the  door 
posts  with  the  blood."  So  the  destroying  angel  of  Grod's  pres- 
ence shall  destroy  millions  of  people,  and  that  in  the  night  time, 
when  they  least  suspect  it.  Notwithstanding  ail  deliverances, 
miracles,  plagues,  and  repentances,  shall  you  be  preserved? 
Yes ;  the  Lord  has  promised  it  and  revealed  it.  To  whom  ? 
To  them  that  have  their  door  posts  sprinkled  Mrith  Christ's  blood, 
apprehended  by  the  work  of  faith.  Rom.  iii.  24,  25 ;  Heb.  x.  22. 
If  one  should  have  asked  the  Lord  Jesus  himself  whom  he 
loveth,  he  would  (John  x.)  answer,  "  his  sheep,"  for,  "  for  them 
he  lays  down  his  life,"  be  they  feeble  or  strong.  If  one  should 
ask,  further,  who  are  his  sheep,  he  would  describe  them  by 
several  properties,  as  he  has  done,  John  x.  Such  as  "  know 
me,"  as  "  hear  me "  only,  as  "  follow  me."  So,  if  you  ask  a 
believer  tliat  question.  How  do  you  know  you  are  loved  ?  it  is 
good  to  answer  with  Christ,  I  am  his  sheep,  for  whom  he  has 
laid  down  his  life,  when  I  was  lost  and  went  astray.  But  how 
do  you  know  tliat  ?  Is  he  now  to  answer  like  Christ ;  by  these 
properties  wrought  in  me,  or  no  ?  If  you  say,  No ;  because  all 
these  a  hypocrite  may  have;  then  the  Lord  Jesus  has  done 
very  weakly  in  describing  his  own  sheep  by  such  properties  to 
be  his,  which  discover  them  no  more  than  so.  It  is  true,  a 
hyiKJcrite  has  something  like  all  these,  but  not  these  indeed.  If 
you  say,  Yes ;  then  a  man  may  know  his  blessed  estate  by  these. 
The  promises;  (Prov.  viii.  17,)  "I  love  Wiem  that  love  me." 
But  how  do  you  know  you  love  the  Lord  ?  There  is  the  ques- 
tion. If  Satan  and  blind  carnal  reason  ask  this  question,  you 
will  be  filled  with  accusations,  and  never  satisfy  them ;  for  he 
that  accused  Job  to  God*s  face  will  much  more  to  their  own 
faces  accuse  saints  of  hypocrisy.  If  unchantable  men,  that 
never  had  the  love  of  Christ  abiding  in  their  hearts,  you  will 
never  satisfy  them.  But  if  the  Lord  ask  the  question  in  his  word, 
hold  there ;  and  the  work  is  so  clear  that,  though  there  has  been 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  215 

mach  decay,  yet,  after  recovery,  the  soul  dares  eye  the  Son,  and 
say,  **  Lord,  thou  knowest  all  things,  thou  knowest  that  I  love 
thee."  John  xxL  17.  Hence  hy  this  work  you  may  come  to 
know  your  safe  estates  _ 

1.  A  man  may  know  his  hlessed  estate  in  respect  of  time  past,  I 
by  a  work,  i.  e.,  with  a  word  or  promise  made  to  it,  and  the  Spirit  I 
revealing  of  it,  viz.,  the  everlasting  thoughts  and  election  of  God  I 
toward  him.  Bom.  viii.  28,  "  Them  that  love  God,  who  are  J 
called  according  to  his  purpose,"  notwithstanding  all  their  mise- 
ries and  sins  ;  yet  love  him,  and  so  "  called  according  to  his  pur- 
pose," for  so  Uie  apostle  raises  up  his  thoughts.  I  know  the 
world  is  full  of  want  of  love,  and  think  it  easy  so  to  do ;  and 
like  the  devil,  are  very  kind  to  the  Lord,  as  they  think,  while  the 
Lord  pleases  them ;  who  yet,  when  the  time  of  patience  is  out, 
shall  be  eternal  blasphemers  of  him.  But  there  is  such  love 
whereby  saints  may  raise  up  their  hearts  thus  to  see  God's  love ; 
(1  Thess.  L  4,  5,)  "  Knowing  your  election  of  God."  How  so  ? 
Imn\ediately.  Some  divines  think  angels  see  it  not  so,  and  that 
it  is  p^^^uliar  to  God  so  to  do,  but  mediately ;  for  our  word  came 
in  power  and  in  much  assurance,  to  ma^  you  enlarged  for  God, 
to  turn  yon  from  idob  unto  God  ;  and  to  wait  for  Christ  in  heav- 
en, seeing  him  here  but  as  in  a  glass.  And  by  the  same  Spirit 
Paul  saw  it ;  by  the  same  Spirit  they  might  much  more  see  it ; 
and  so  the  elect  may  see  it  And  if  experience  may  be  added 
to  the  truth,  how  many  of  Grod's  people  daily,  knowing  their 
work  of  vocation  and  glory,  ascend  from  these  lower  stairs  of  the 
Lord's  ladder  to  the  highest  of  election,  and  there  are  swallowed 
up  with  eternal  wonderment,  filling  their  hearts  with  that  joy  and 
peace,  that  the  weak  tabernacle  of  fiesh  and  blood  can  not  bear 
the  weight  of  that  glory  long ;  that  by  works  see  the  promise, 
and  by  the  promise  of  love  behold  eternal  thoughts  of  love  ;  and 
hence  promises  are  said  to  be  given  to  saints,  "  before  the  world 
began."  Because  promises  to  them  that  thirst,  mourn,  believe, 
etc,  are  not  bare  words,  but  eternal  counsels,  in  which  you  see 
God's  purpose.  > 

2.  In  respect  of  time  present,  by  it  we  know  our  present  unioiH 
to  the  Lord  Jesus  ;  (1  John  ii.  4,)  "  He  that  saith  I  know  him,  l 
and  keeps  not  his  commandments,  is  a  liar."^    Yes,  that  Ls  true"^ 
negatively ;  but  may  a  man,  ought  a  man  to  see  or  know  his    ■ 
union  positively  by  this  ?     Ans.  verse  5,  Many  said  they  did 
know  and  love  the  Lord ;  but  he  that  keeps  his  word,  (),  they 
are  sweet !     It  is  heaven  to  cleave  to  him  in  every  command,  it 
is  death  to  depart  from  any  command.     "  Hereby  we  know  that  i 
we  are  iu  him."     If  it  were  possible  to  ask  of  angels  how  they  ^ 


216  THE   PARABLE  OF 

know  they  are  not  devilsy  thej  would  answer.  The  Lord's  wiO  if 
ours ;  so  here,  how  do  jou  know  jou  have  not  the  nature  of 
devils,  and  so,  in  state  of  devils,  bound  there  till  the  judgment 
of  the  great  day  ?  Because  God  has  changed  our  vile  natures, 
id  made  our  wills  like  unto  his  glorious  will,  etc.  So  for  for- 
iveness ;  (Luke  viL  47,)  ^  Much  is  forgiven  her,"  etc 
3.  In  respect  of  the  state  of  glory  for  time  to  come.  We 
^may  know  our  blessed  estate  by  a  work ;  (1  Cor.  ii.  9,)  **  Eye 
not  seen  what  the  Lord  has  prepared  for  them  that  love  him ;  ** 
(Ps.  xxxL  19,)  ^  O,  how  great  is  thy  goodness  laid  up  for  them 
that  fear  thee  I"  (2  Cor.  v.  3,)  "If  clothed  with  ChrLrt,"  wh^e 
Christ ;  (verse  5,  6,)  "  He  has  fitted  us  for  this,  and  given  the 
earnest  of  the  Spirit,"  which  (Rom.  viii.  23)  "  are  first  fruits 
of  glory,  therefore  we  are  confident." 

Object  But,  if  you  look  to  yourselves,  you  will  have  peaee 
to-day  and  sorrow  to-morrow. 

Nay,  we  are  always  confident ;  and  yet  Paul  did  not  now  go 
on  in  a  covenant  of  works.  Now,  whether  a  man  first  comes  to 
know  his  estate  by  a  work,  word,  and  spirit,  so  that  there  are 
three  things  to  evidence  our  happy  estate,  or  whether  two  things 
only,  viz.,  a  general  word  and  spirit,  I  intend  not  to  dispute,  be- 
cause it  makes  nothing  against  the  truth  in  hand.  Only  this  I 
say ;  it  is  very  dangerous  to  "  limit  the  Holy  One  of  Israel," 
especially  in  his  freedom  of  working,  to  breathe  light  and  life, 
and  divine  consolation,  when,  and  by  what  means  and  promise, 
and  in  what  measure  he  will.  Christ,  when  he  was  here  on 
earth,  would  say  sometimes,  "  Thy  sins  are  forgiven,"  (Matt  ix. 
2  ;)  sometimes,  "  Be  it  unto  thee  as  thou  believest,"  (Matt  ix. 
28,  29  ;)  nay,  "  Be  it  unto  thee  as  thou  wilt"  Matt  xv.  27.  If 
in  these  inferior  things,  much  more  in  greater.  Christ  is  now 
gone,  and  we  have  no  immediate  speech  with  him,  but  in  his 
word,  and  he  is  free  to  speak  to  his  people  according  as  he 
pleases,  and  when  they  need.  And,  therefore,  let  me  entreat 
you,  bretliren,  to  be  wary  in  your  speeches  in  dashing  all  prom- 
ises in  pieces.  What  Christian  heart  can  see  God's  truth  man- 
gled, without  being  angry,  and  mouniing  for  the  hardness  of 
men's  hearts  ?  The  Lonl  has  spoken  peace  to  some  men's  hearts 
thus,  he  that  is  lost  shall  be  found ;  **  He  that  believes  in  me 
shall  never  hunger,  and  he  that  comes  to  me  shall  never 
thirst;"  and  seeing  this,  they  conclude  (the  Lord's  Spirit  help- 
ing them,  for  sometimes  they  can  not  do  it)  peace.  For  the 
major  is  the  word,  the  minor  experience,  and  the  conclusion  the 
Lord's  Spirit's  work  (luickening  your  spirits  to  it  Now,  say 
some,  how  do  you  know  this  ?    Thus  you  may  be  nustaken,  for 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  217 

Bumj  have  been  deceived  thus.  Grant  that,  and  shall  a  child 
not  take  bread  when  it  is  given  him,  though  dogs  snatch  at  it  ? 
What  should  one  do  then  ?  Bring  their  work  to  the  light,  to  the 
trial  of  the  word,  which  jou  know  does  but  two  things. 

1.  Shows  what  Grod  is.     And, — 

2.  What  man  is,  and  so  discovers  and  describes  all  hypocrisy 
of  men,  and  all  grace  of  men  ;  now,  if  it  will  not  bear  the  trial 
of  the  word,  convince  them  they  have  gone  on  in  a  covenant  of 
works  indeed.  But  if  it  will,  hold  there,  take  heed  then  of  false 
witness  against  the  truth  of  God ;  so  that  do  not  condenm  the 
work  of  Christ  in  any  man,  where  it  is  of  the  right  stamp,  and 
has  Christ's  image  upon  it,  and  so  pluck  men  from  their  claim  to 
Christ's  love  revealed  in  his  promise.  But  learn  to  difference  it 
once,  and  then  I  am  persuaded  the  sad  differences  that  begin  to 
appear  would  soon  be  ended  among  all  them  that  love  the  truth 
in  Christ  Jesus ;  (2  Pet  i.  4,)  "  Whereby  are  given  to  us,  that 
have  precious  faith,  exceeding  great  and  precious  promises." 
The  Lord  gives  little  to  his  people.  O,  but  he  gives  them  rich 
promises  ;  bonds  and  bills,  and  writings  to  show  for  rich  grace, 
and  riches  of  glory,  and  riches  of  peace.  O,  but  these  promises 
hypocrites  may  have ;  they  may  be  lost,  and  hunger  and  thirst, 
and  beUeve.  What  as  those  do  that  have  their  interest  in  these 
promises  ?  Why  they  are  called  "  precious  promises "  ?  Pre- 
cious promises  are  not  common  things.  Precious  promises  are 
not  the  portion  of  a  base  world.  Precious  things  God  never 
gives  to  dogs  ;  and,  believe  me,  you  may  come  to  know  the  price 
of  them  in  the  times  of  your  horror  on  death  bed,  that  account 
them  common  now.  O,  but  many  rest  on  promises  without 
Clirist.  That  is  all  one  ;  the  faithful  by  them  come  to  partake 
of  the  divine  nature  of  Christ,  of  his  Spirit,  of  divine  consola- 
tions, peace,  grace ;  and  this  is  not  building  on  a  work,  or  resting 
on  a  bare  promise,  when  it  carries  you  to  Christ  and  the  ever- 
Lkiting  embraces  of  him.  It  is  no  matter  what  promise  gives 
peace,  so  long  as  it  lands  us  in  Christ.  And,  therefore,  a  man 
may  know  his  blessed  estate  by  a  work  ;  only  let  me  put  in  three 
cautions. 

1.  Take  heed  you  do  not  in  your  judgment,  or  in  your  prac-  \ 
tice,  go  about  to  move  the  Lord  to  love  you  by  your  works, 
though  it  be  of  his  making];.  For  all  works  are  fruits,  no  causes 
of  the  Lord's  love ;  for  this  is  Popery,  indeed,  and  it  is  hypoc- 
risy. /Ih.  Iviii.  3,  4,  "  Why  have  wo  fastod,  and  prayed,  nnd_ 
delighted  to  draw  near  unto  God  ?  "  etc.  But  look  upon  the  work 
and  promise,  and  be  the  more  vile  in  thine  own  eyes,  that  the 
Lord  should  promise,  or  do  any  thing  for  thee.  So  that  when 
▼OL.  n.  19 


I 


I 


yoo  fed  any  sBving  work,  go  not  to  God  with  espectation  of 
tuiy  good  in  the  name  of  that  work,  but  in  ihe  name  of  that  free 
grace  and  faJthfulnes:  of  God,  which  baa  moved  him  to  make 
BUch  precions  prombea  to  such  as  tho^  are  that  have  it.     ''  Hast 

\  thou  Dot  ^d,  Solomon  aliaJl  reij:^?"  1  Kings  i.  13.     So  here. 
I      2.  Take  heed  you  do  not  sit  down  contented  with  the  work, 
I  and  quiet  youreelves  with  that,  never  looking  to  behold  his  face 
I  that  gave  ii,  that  wrought  it.     The  "  poor  blind  man  "  (John  ix.) 
/"had  a  mighty  cure  upon  him,  and  some  seed  of  faith ;  the  Lord 

/    wrought  the  work,  but  hid  himself,     lie  wondered  at  the  great 

'    change,  was  affected  with  his  love  ;  at  last  the  Lord  Jesus  conies 
himself,  "  Doat  thou  believe  ?  saiih  he.  Lord,  who  ia  he  ?  I  am 
he.     Then  he  worshiped  him."    Verses  35-37.     So  it  ia  with 
the  Lord  in  bis  way  of  working  grace.     O,  therefore,  long  la 
see  him  here  in  his  ghtss,  and  in  glory,  in  his  face  folly.     Tmlf 
there  is  no  work  of  Christ  that  is  right,  hot  it  carries  the  soul  14u. 
long  for  more  of  it,  and  to  be  with  him  that  has  done  it.     Maitf.^ 
Christians,  when  they  have  the  work,  mn  away  with  it  as  a  gow 
sign,  and  look  to  the  promise ;    O,  but  long  not,  look  not  f 
behold  the  Lord.     "  Do  ye  thus  requite  the  Lord,  0  ye  foo 
ieh  people  and  unwise?"     Were  it  not  enough  that  your  «■ 
make  ?  but  will  you  make  works  and  promises  also  a  partilic 
wall  between  the  Lord  and  your  soola?     I  profesa  the  Lord  wi 
fire  such  work  about  your  ears,  and  dry  up  all  your  pits,  th: 
you  may  long  for  to  drink  out  of  the  well  uf  life  it^lf.     And 
IB  a  black  mark  of  unbelief  that  shall  keep  thee  from  rest.  Ueb^ 
iv.  3,  10,  11.     0,  but  when  yon  long  to  see  him  ;  ■'O,  whes 
shall  I  appear  before  God  ?  "  Pe.  Ixiii.  2-4.    Then  the  Lord  wift 
I      fill  thee.     As  leaden  rings  with  a  pearl,  so  promises  and  Chrigt 

V  put  together  (not  divided)  are  exceeding  precious. 
y"  3.  Do  not  look  to  see  the  work  or  promise  yours,  nor  receirt 
Wiy  consolation  from  either,  unless  the  Lord  appeju-  in  boA. 
John  1. 16,  "  They  shall  bear  my  voice  ;  "  for  so  most  men  bring 
home  human,  not  divine  consolation  from  a  work.  But,  O,  fetck 
it  from  heaven :  as  in  Peter's  redemption.  Acta 
BOn,  and  others  tell  you,  and  yet  you  are  full  uf  fears  and  doubtflt; 
and  thou  crieal.  Lord,  persuade  me.  Lord,  persuade  me 
hold  you  here,  now  you  are  where  you  ought  lo  be.  I 
thiuk  Christ  is  filled  willi  grace  and  life  for  you,  and  nc 
consolation  for  you  too  ?     Only  use  means,  and  so  look 


I 


Sectios  V. 


O,  therefore,  content  not  yourselvea  with   any  hopes  yoi 
'    is  right,  until  you  find  this  difference ;  for  the  Lord  spealti 


3 


THE   TEN    VIRGINS.  219 

peaw  only  lo  his  people,  and  his  people  are  differenced  from  all 
oiliprs.      Hence  hovr  can  you  say  peace  is  youra,  till  this  be 
dcaT«(t  up  unio  jou  ? 
Ri        I  shall  speak  to  two  sorts  of  people. 

U^,  1.  Those  that  content  Ihemselvea  with  any  thing  that  may 
^^H^  and  quiet  conscience,  any  slight  work,  any  poor  desires,  any 
l^fcdge  faith,  any  moral  performances,  any  gronndleaa  conjectures 
iriH  serve  their  turn.  And,  being  full,  they  can  hear  all  ser- 
mons, no  winJ  will  shake  ihem,  no  searching,  threatening  Inilha 
concern  them ;  they  are  all  so  good,  that  they  think  the  Lord 
means  not  them.  Well,  I  say  no  more  to  you  bul  tliis  :  Know  it, 
that  the  time  is  coming  ibat  the  Lord  Jesus  will  try  you,  and 
examine  you  to  the  very  bran  ;  and  will  descry  all  thy  paint, 
snd  open  all  iby  lusts  and  thoughts ;  and  thy  nakedness,  and 
shame,  and  confusion  shall  be  seen  of  all  the  world. 

2.  Those  tliat  content  themseh-es  with  the  revelation  of  the 
Ixtrd's  love,  without  the  eight  of  any  work,  or  not  looking  to  it.  ■ 
I  desire  the  Lord  to  reveal  hbnself  abundantly  more  and  more, 
lo  all  that  have  the  Lord  savingly  revealed  unto  them.  For 
tliis  is  the  misery,  Christ  is  a  hidden  thing,  and  so  ia  his  love. 
Yet  consider, — 

I.  God  reveals  not  his  love  to  any  hypocrite,  but  to  his  peo- 
ple that  have  a  work  far  beyond  them. 

^  2.  That  ibe  testimony  of  the  Spirit  does  not  make  a  man  a 
Christian,  but  only  evidenceth  it.  As  it  is  the  nature  of  a  wit- 
ness, not  to  make  a  thing  to  be  true,  but  lo  clear  and  evidence 
it.  And.  therefore,  whether  the  Spirit  in  the  first  or  second 
place  dears  God's  love,  I  dispuie  not,  because  it  is  doubtful ; 
yet  be  sure  you  find  out  the  difference,  viz..  some  work  in  you, 
that  no  hypocrite  under  heaven  has.  Else  what  peace  can  you 
have? 

1.  Hereby  you  come  to  prevent  the  strongest  delusion  that 
Satan  lius  lo  keep  men  in  bondage  to  himself,  viz.,  to  give  men 
great  peace,  and  sometimes  great  ravishment,  while  they  are  in 
their  gins,  that  so  he  may  harden  Ihem  there  still.  Luke  xi.  21. 
Now,  by  taking  this  course,  and  going  to  Christ  to  untie  the 
knots  of  Satan,  you  do  now  undermine  the  main  plot  of  Satan, 
you  break  bis  bead,  having  recourse  to  Christ  to  do  this.  His 
poKcy  is,  let  your  heart  alone,  let  Christ  alone  with  that.  But 
now  yon  may  be  sure  all  your  consolaiion  is  of  the  right  make. 

2.  Otherwise  you  quench  the  Spirit,  and  resist  the  testimony 
of  the  Spirit,  at  least  one  great  part  of  it.  For  the  Spirit  when 
it  does  came  to  witness  God's  love,  it  answers  all  the  doubts  and 
objections  of  the  soul  that  it  had  before.     Now,  the  great  doubtm 


220  TEE   PARABLE   OF 

f  Sod's  people  is  not  only,  Am  I  eleL-lei  am  I  justified  and 
^plcil  ?  but,  Am  I  called,  am  I  s»iictifio<I,  are  not  my  desires, 
fitith,  my  love  counterfeit,  which  I  may  hare,  and  yet  go  lo 
?  Now,  the  Spirit,  when  it  comes,  eleore  flJl  doubts,  not  fully, 
gradually  J  tor  it  is  the  most  clearing  witness,  and,  therefore, 
hn  siv.  18i-20,)  "  At  that  day  you  shall  know  that  1  am  in 
,  and  you  in  me,  ami  I  in  the  Father."  /  The  Spirit  does  not 
/  Bay,  Christ  is  out  of  you  in  heaven,  preparing  and  intet^ 

ceding  J  but  in  you,  sanctifying,  preparing  thee  for  glory,  that 
^art  a  vessel  of  glory ;  /"  and  you  in  me,"  by  faith,  by  lore,  de- 
^tte,  etc.  Now,  when  a  man  shall  say,  I  look  to  no  work,  but 
only  for  the  Spirit  to  reveal  the  Lord's  love  ;  in  seeming  lo  de- 
sire the  Spirit,  he  doth  resist  the  Spirit  of  Goil. 

3.  Otherwise  you  shall  be  deprived  of  all  that  abundant  con- 
eolation  which  the  word  holds  out  before  you.  For  suppose  yon 
aay,  I  look  not  to  the  work  of  God  in  me,  to  receive  any  conso- 
lation from  that,  or  any  promise  made  to  that ;  I  look  only  to  tbe 
revelation  of  the  Spirit 

Am.  1.  There  is  never  a  promise  but  the  Comforter  b  in  it, 
aad  they  are  given  for  that  end,  to  give  strong  consolation  ;  now, 
if  you  look  to  no  work,  nor  no  conditional  promise,  nor  to  find 
the  condition  in  you,  (wliicb  yet  Christ  must  and  doth  work,) 
Lord,  what  abundance  of  sweet  peace  do  you  lose  1  Rev.  vii. 
17,  The  Lamb  leads  them  to  the  "living  fountain  of  waters, 
and  God  wipes  away  all  tears,"  And,  for  aught  I  know,  yon 
shall  die  for  thirst  that  refuse  lo  do  it.  "  O,  slow  of  heart  to 
believe  all  that  the  Scriptures  have  writ" — all  that  God  has 
spoken.     Ought  you  not  thus  lo  be  comforted  ? 

But,  2.  If  you  look  to  a  Spirit  without  a  work,  whilst  you  do 
seek  consolation  from  the  Spirit,  you  can  not  avoid  tbe  condem- 
nation of  the  word.     You  saj,  tbe  Spirit  bas  spoken  peace  to 
you.     But  do  you  love  Christ  ?     I  look  not  to  that,  but  to  the 
Spirit.     Why.  the  word  sairh,  "  He  that  loves  not  him,  let  him 
be  anathema."     So,  is  the  league  between  your  sins  and  yotu    , 
souls  broken  ?     Ant.  I  look  not  to  that.     AVhy,  John  saith,  "  H«  J 
that  commitletb  sin  is  of  the  devil."  1  John  iii.  8,  9.     Are  JM^I 
new  creatures  ?    I  look  not  to  that.    Why,  the  word  siuth,  "  Ui»*  ^ 
less  you  be  bom  again,  you  can  not  enter  into  the  kingdom  of    ' 
God."     And  the  Lord  knows,  but  on  your  deatb  beds,  thus  Satan 
may  assault  you,  and  then  will  the  Lord  say.  Nay.  look  to  your- 
self.    The  word  shall   be    Belshaxzar's  terror.     Consider  P». 
xxxii.  1,  2. 

4.  Look  to  it,  else  you  shall  be  deprived  of  further  manif«« 
tation  and  communion  with  the  Lord  Jesus.     The  Lord  r 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  221 

not  all  of  himself  at  once ;  the  day  dawns  before  the  sun  riseth, 
and  there  is  a  further  manifestation  of  the  Lord  in  this  life  to 
his  people,  not  for,  but  when  they,  indeed,  maintain  such  works 
before  him  ;  (John  xiv.  21,)  "  I  will  manifest  myself  unto  him/* 
How ?    O,  saith  Christ,  *' Til  come  and  sup  with  him." /  Never! 
think  the  Lord  will  dishonor  himself  so  far  as  to  come  into  a  \ 
filthy  heart.     Sin  does  and  will  grieve  God's  Spirit,  that  he  will  I 
only  accuse,  not  speak  peace  to  you,  till  all  is  mended.  J 

5.  Else  you  may  fall  everlastingly  away,  as  those,  (Heb.  x. 
29,)  They  had  "  received  the  knowledge  of  the  truth  and  were 
sanctified,"  but  their  wills  and  hearts  never  changed.  O,  take 
heed  there  be  left  "only  a  fearful  looking  for  of  vengeance." 
You  stand  on  the  brim  of  destruction  every  moment  that  do  it 
not.  For  it  is  plain  hypocrisy  not  to  bring  works  to  the  light ; 
it  is  not  ceasing  to  go  on  in  a  covenant  of  work.  John  iii. 
20.  And  if  the  Lord  does  love  you,  and  you  will  not  take  the 
counsel  of  the  word,  the  fire  of  the  Lord  shall  try  you.  And 
when  that  comes,  and  conscience  shall  ask,  Wherefore  comes  all 
this  great  evil  upon  me  ?  when  your  miseries  shall  be  great,  O, 
it  shall  be  said.  This  was  because  I  loved  not  the  Lord,  I  forsook 
the  Lord,  etc.  O,  therefore,  look  to  the  Lord  now  to  cleanse 
vou  !  Zech.  xiii.  9. 

Object,  It  is  true  there  is  a  difference ;  but  is  it  possible  to 
know  it,  seeing  that  a  false  heart  may  go  so  far  ?  especially  to 
know  it  in  itself? 

Ans,  It  is  true,  it  is  difficult  for  men,  ministers,  or  angels  to 
reveal  it ;  yet  it  is  easy  for  the  Lord  Jesus  to  reveal  it,  and  this 
ho  does  do.  This  light  discovers  hidden  things  as  they  are ;  his 
*•  Spirit  leads  unto  all  truth."  And  this  is  a  peculiar  privilege 
anil  honor  as  for  God  to  know  ;  so  they,  partaking  of  the  divine 
nature,  for  them  to  know  their  own  hearts.  Jer.  xvii.  9.  And 
although  it  be  an  easy  thing  for  hypocrites,  that  never  knew 
what  grace  meant,  to  be  mistaken,  yet  after  the  Lord  has  made 
it  known  to  the  elect,  it  is  no  easy  matter  to  deceive  them.  As 
it  is  with  apothecaries,  that  know  when  they  meet  with  counter- 
ff  it  drugs  ;  or  jewellers,  that  know  the  difference  between  Bris- 
tol stones  and  pearls.  As  the  blind  man  saith,  "  Whereas  I  was 
blind,  now  I  see ; "  so  I  was  dead,  now  behold  I  live.  "  Old 
things  are  passed  away,  all  things  are  become  new."  1  Pet  ii.  9. 
They  an?  "  called  out  of  darkness  into  marvelous  light."  If 
they  could  not  know  a  difference,  why  would  the  Lord  command 
them  to  add  one  grace  to  another,  and  "  grow  in  grace"  ?  May 
they  not  well  reply,  Alas  I  Lord,  I  know  not  trash  from  treasure  ? 
I  know-nothing  thou  hast  commanded  me  to  do,  but  hypocrites 

19* 


} 


I 


ii2  THE   PARAnLE   OF 

may  have  nnd   do.     I  esy,  lliercfore,  the  work  nuty  be  stca 
in  ilself,  and  that  by  a.  tliri^cfolil  tight. 

I.  The  light  of  the  Word,  which  h  a  divine  rev-clotion  of  W 
CODcemiDg  God  and  man,  and  of  inan,  not  only  as  fallen  in 
Adam,  (which  discovers  all  his  sins,  their  nature,  their  end,  etc^) 
bnt  as  risen  again  and  recovered  in  Christ ;  the  birth,  being, 
breeding  of  the  new  creature.  It  discovers  all  hj-poeriay  o{  the 
heart,  so  that  they  BbnU  bo  forced  to  say,  The  Lord  has  found  me 
ont ;  and  saints  shall  say.  The  Lord  has  done  me  good.  Aa  if  the 
question  be.  Whom  doth  the  Lord  Jesus  love  ?  You  need  not  go 
to  heaven  for  it ;  "  the  vrord  is  nigh  thee."  Those  that  love 
Christ :  who  are  those  ?  "  Those  that  keep  hia  commandments," 
etc.  So  that  the  word  is  a  light  to  discover  truth  from  (aUe- 
hood,  the  work  of  grace  from  the  work  of  hypocrisy ;  and  by 
this  light  saints  may  and  do  know  what  the  work  is.  And  it 
argues  dreadful  unbelief  and  hypocrisy  not  to  do  thus,  John  iii. 
19-21.  And  this  all  the  saints  are  commanded  to  do.  2  Pet.  i. 
19.  "  We  (sealed  with  the  Spirit)  have  a  sure  word  of  prophe- 
cy," etc  "  Which  is  a  light  iu  a  dark  plaw,"  both  to  reveal 
God'tt  heart  and  our  hearts  unto  us ;  hence  ''  it  makes  us  wise 
to  salvation." 

II.  The  tight  of  the  Spirit  going  with  tho  word  reveals  the 
work,  without  which  tlie  work  can  not  be  seen  no  more  than  a 
book  written  in  the  fairest  hand  or  print  con  lie  seen  without 
light  to  see  it  by.  And  hence  God's  people  can  not  preaentlr 
rrad  what  the  Lord  has  written,  etc  1  John  iii.  'ii.  That  lad 
88  it  is  with  Scripture,  Papists  say  tbey  are  olwcure,  and  how  dtn 
we  know  them  ?  We  answer,  there  are  divine  characters  of. 
majesty  and  glory  stamped  upon  llicm,  whereby  we,  by  the  saori)' 
Spirit  that  writ  them,  see  them,  and  are  persuaded  of  them  ;  vf 
here.  Or  as  it  is  in  the  work  of  creation;  how  can  any  soft 
God  in  it  ?  We  say,  in  the  very  workmanship  appears  hifti 
power  and  eternity,  wisdom,  goodness,  etc.  Now,  Blthoug^> 
atheists  can  not  see  these,  yet  others  do  and  can.  So  in  did 
wortunanship  of  the  elect  it  is  so.  It  is  tho  glass  of  God's  pe- 
culiar mercy  and  love.  Now,  ihey  that  never  had  it  know  H> 
not,  but  the  saints  do,  by  the  Spirit  especially.  Thus  far  W6i 
grant  the  Spirit's  testimony,  that  it  must  reveal  it. 

III.  The  light  of  experience  and  sense.  For  saints  have  aa.' 
experimental  knowledge  of  the  work  of  grace,  by  virtue  rf 
which  they  come  to  know  it  as  certainly  —  as  we  dispuM 
against  the  Papists — as  by  feeling  heat,  we  know  Are  is  holi 
by  tasting  honey,  we  know  it  ia  sweet.  Now.  this  is  diversely 
apparent  to  experience. 


THE  TEN    VIliGIXa.  223 

1.  By  mcditatioD  of  the  work,  in  comparing  it  with  the  rule ; 
fnrnodead  creature  can  perform  one  spiritual  living  act  of  life; 
I  DO.  Bot  a  good  thouglit,  though  they  may  think  of  good  things. 
XoH,  ihe  Lord  has  given  to  his  people  a  most  exact  rule  of  life  ; 
linct,  by  meditation,  they  may  aee  how  far  it  agrees  or  disagreea 
•itb  ^o  rule,  and  judge  of  a  living  act  by  it ;  and  eo  of  the  God 
wd  Lord  of  life  to  be  there.  Heuce,  "  try  yourselves ;  know 
/ou  Dot  that  Christ  is  in  you  ?  "  etc.  And  hence  I  never  knew 
'  Jtt  n  thinking  Christian  deceived,  and  hence  I  fear  all  that  make 
not  this  their  trade,  will  be  to  seek,  and  so  to  begin  again.  0, 
the  Lord  teachelh  his  people  hidden  mysteries  by  this. 

2.  By  the  operation  and  working  of  it ;  for  grace  may  be  in 
ike  heart,  and  yet  lying  asleep,  and  raked  up  under  the  ashes, 
aol  seen,  not  felt ;  bat  in  the  operation  of  it,  it  may,  which  is  pe- 
culiar as  the  form  is.     For  how  do  we  know  we  love  or  delight 

,  fa  any  creature  ?  By  the  operation  of  love  and  delight.  How 
'  £d  Christ  manifest  to  the  Pharisees  that  they  were  "  of  their 
Father  the  devil  "  ?  Why,  "his  lusts  they  would  do."  So  how 
tma  any  tell  he  knows  the  Lord,  or  loves  the  Lord,  or  l)clicvea 
in  the  Lord  ?  The  operation  discovers  it.  James  ii.  22.  And 
hence,  (Gal.  v.  6.)  "faith  which  works  l>y  love."  And  though 
hygtorriies  act  like  them,  yet  there  is  a  peculiar  virtue  in  the 
coc  that  is  not  in  the  other. 

3.  By  their  temptations  and  trials.     Dcul.  viii.  2,  "The  I^rd 
'  liAs  led  thee  forty  years  to  prove  Ihce,  and  show  lliee  what  was 

in  thy  hoarL"  Kom.  v.  4,5,  "Tribulation  breeds  experience,  and 
thai  hope,"  or  expectation  of  thot  which  $luJl  never  make  us 
•ebarand.  I  will  name  no  more.  But  look  as  ne  said  to  them 
Ihat  cri«d  out  against  prayer  without  a  book,  we  answer.  Has  a 
■lan  dwelt  in  his  own  heart  so  many  yenrs.  and  not  known  his 
WitA.  10  make  hira  pray  ?  nor  the  Lord's  work  of  mercy  to 
Bske  him  bless ;  so  here. 

(MjteU  2.  Bat  if  a  man  looks  to  his  work,  lliis  will  interrupt 
mfc  bis  peace. 

m^.  It  may  and  doth  break  and  interrupt  a  false  peace; 
My,  yet  they  trust  in  the  Lord's  mercy,  0,  it  is  a  pru- 
^^^-    *  peace. 

i.  Neglect  of  this  yields  most  iinpeaeeablcness.  even  in  them 
*  >I  are  sincere.  You  have  peae*,  and  ibon  lu'ciik  out  into  pride 
ision  again;  then  question  all.  The  Spirit  will  sigh,  not 
I  that  bosom.  Ps.  xxxi.  1-3;  Jndg.  xvi.  20.  Neither 
.^'Oui  you  avoid  the  condemnaiion  of  the  word,  though  you  main- 
'iain  oonMilntion  from  the  Spirit,  nor  susjiicion  of  hypocriity. 
1 ,    5.  This  is  the  way  to  peace.    2  Pel.  i.  7-9 ;  Malt.  xi.  29,  SO. 


I 

I 


224  THE   PARABLE    OF 

Christ's  "  yoke  is  easy,"  Hnd  yields  penee  in  lifi 
loo.    Rev.  xiv.  13,  "  Tbeir  works  follow  them." 
eoiues  double  pence  and  reel. 

1.  From  Lorror. 

2.  From  fin,  which  is  wonderful  great. 
Oljvct.  3.  But  I  look  lo  Christ,  I  look  to  no  work.     If  I  bars  J 

him  1  have  all. 

An».  True.     First  look  lo  have  him,  to  be  comprcliended  f 
him,  that  so  you  niny  comprehend  him.     But  because  you  loo 
for  all  in  him,  will  you  look  for  nothing  from  him  ?  Will  you  hs) 
Cliriel  sit  in  hcnven,  and  not  look  that  he  subdue  your  luels  I 
tlie  work   of  his  grace,  and  so  away  in   your  hearifi  ? 
deapise  his  kingdom  then.     Do  you  seek  for  pardon  in  the  blod 
of  Chrbt,  and  never  look  for  the  virtue  and  end  of  that  blood  tc 
■wash  you  and  make  you  without  epol  ?  etc     You  despise  hia 
prieathood  and  blood  then.     Do  you  look  for  Christ  lo  do  work 
for  you,  and  you  not  to  do  Christ's  work  and  bring  forth  fruit  to 
him  ?     You  despise  bis  honor  then.  John  xv.  8.     If  I  were  to 
discover  a  bypoerile  or  a  false  hearl,  I  would  say,  It  is  he  that 
Bhall  set  up  Christ,  but  loalhe  his  work.     To  have  Oirist  is 
sweet,  OS   Capernaum  ;  to  follow   Christ  is   heavy.  John   xiv. 
21,  23. 

Object.  4.  But  if  I  have  Ibe  witness  of  the  Spirit,  what  need- 
I  have  any  other  difference  ?  1 

f     Ant.  The  witness  of  the  Spirit  makes  not  the  fir^t  ditToreneA-' 
f  For,  first,  a  man  is  a  believer  and  in  CbrisI,  and  justified,  called, 
BRDctified,  before   the   Spirit  does  witnees    it-;    else  the  Spirit 
should  witness  to  an  untruth  and  a  lie.     For  unbelievers  are 
under  wrath. 

2,  If  the  Spirit  does  not  witness  this  peculiar  work  to  be  in 
you,  and  clear  it  to  you,  tell  mc  how  you  can  escape  the  anguish 
of  conscience  and  the  terrors  of  hell  in  your  hearts,  nuless  con- 
ncience  be  seared  and  blinded.  When/the  Lord  shall  «et  eon- 
I  Euicncc  lo  ask  and  say,  I  choose  none  but  whom  I  call,  I  call 
I  none  but  wliom  I  justify,  I  justify  none  but  whom  I  saticlify,  ami 
Ithal  not  with  a  common,  but  a  peculiar  work.  Is  it  so  with  yon  ? 
nf  it  be  dark  or  doubtful,  can  you  but  think  all  your  joys  have 
been  dreams  and  your  witness  delusions?  Therefore  look  u  " 
this. 

Object.  5.  But  if  I  should  do  ibis,  I  should  look  ti 
cleanness  in  myself,  whereas  I  am  to  see  nothing  but  ungodlinei 
Goata  arc  clean  creatures. 

Atu.  1.  When  you  stand  before  Chrisl's  judgment  scat  to  i 
ceive  pardon,  you  are  here  to  look  upon  all  aH  unclean  and  yot 
selves  ungodly. 


THK   T£N   VIKG1N3.  225 

3.  When  yaa  come  to  look  ujion  ^our  aonctifivation,  you  are 
Is  see  it  as  it  is,  mixed  with  sin  anil  coiTuptioD,  and  so  canse  of 
1)eing  aliased  as  low  as  boll  for  vrhal  is  done  ;  jet  that  cleanncas 
and  truth  there  is  you  must  see  too.  Rom.  vii.  He  felt  "a  law 
waniag  gainst  the  law  of  his  mind  ; "  yet  ho  felt  another  law, 
tiK),  which  he  made  an  evidence  of  his  being  in  Christ.  Rom. 
riii.  1.  Giving  all  the  glory  of  it  to  Christ,  "Not  1,  hut  Clirist." 
And  yet  Paul  was  no  goaL  It  is  one  thing  to  see  grace  in 
myself,  another  tiling  to  look  upon  it  oa  mine,  to  cleai'  me 
withal.  You  are  to  see  the  Lord's  work,  anil  not  appropriate  it 
to  yoarself.  And  this,  let  me  say,  if  there  be  no  more  than 
Qngoilliness  in  thee,  and  thou  seest  no  more,  itiou  shalt  never 
see  God  in  heaven.  Heb.  xii.  14.  Nor  didst  never  see  him  yet. 
1  John  iii.  G,  8.     0,  therefore,  look  to  a  work  ! 

1.  If  you  do  not,  you  have  no  peace.  For  the  Lord's  pake 
do  it  before  fire  try  you,  or  you  stand  scorching  before  the  Iri- 
bnoa]  of  God. 

i.  The  sweet  of  it  will  be  great ;  as  there  is  nothing  more 
latter  than  Christ's  departing  with  his  holy  presence,  so  nothing 
BO  sweet  as  Christ's  cleaving  to  thee  in  his  holy  presence.  And 
truly  sin  was  never  bitter  to  that  soul  to  which  the  work  of  the 
Lonl  Jesus  was  not  sweet,  though  it  is  accounted  by  some  al- 
most Popery  to  speak  so.  To  this  all  promises  are  made ; 
(I  Tim.  iv.  8.)  "  Godliness  hath  them,"  It  is  true,  they  are 
made  to  Christ;  i.  e.,  to  Christ  mystical  1  Cor.  xii.  12.  Yet 
to  the  head  as  the  foundation  and  conveyer  of  all  to  the  elect. 
Eph.  i.  23 ;  2  Pet.  i.  3,  4.  K  you  despise  work,  yon  despise 
promises,  and  so  despise  Christ ;  and  the  Lord  knows  what  use 
you  may  have  of  them  before  you  die. 

H  SECTION  VI. 

B  {%#  7.  0/  Exhort.  To  the  people  of  Grod,  m  whom  the 
I  Kurd  luu  made  this  great  change,  and  made  a  difference  between 
yoQ  Mid  all  the  world.  Take  heed  of  denying  your  work,  and 
ihb  real  apparent  expression  of  the  Lord's  love.  How  many 
doobtiag.  dnioping  spirits  are  there,  that  though  others  may  see, 
and  thnugh  theinselvca  have  felt,  the  sensible  expression  of  the 
Lonl's  love,  yet  oh  come  to  this  conclusion,  or  fear  that  the  Lord 
did  never  yet  good  unto  me!  And  dispute  against  it,  and  think 
that  this  a  hypocrite  may  have.  Is.  xlix.  14.     There  are  two 


-mtTs  wherebv  grace  is  despised. 
1.  B 


■H     i.  By  making  common  grace  special. 

^B    9^  By  making  special  grace  common.     The  elect  a 


J 


22S  THE   rAIEABLE   OF 

do  BO  before  they  are  colled,  as  Paul  thought  hU  innocent  god- 
liness gain;  they  ore  apt  to  do  the  latter  when  once  in  Clirist. 
All  this  we  may  have,  and  yet  to  hell.  O.  lake  heed  of  despi*- 
ing  this  kindness  which  the  Lord  Jeans  has  not  shown  to  ihtt 
greatest  potentates  of  the  world. 

Object.  Yea,  if  I  did  but  know  it;  but  I  am  put  to  such  fean 
and  doubts  about  it  that  I  know  not  what  to  make  on  it. 

1.  Do  not  think  that  thou  ajrt  under  the  power  of  thy  eiq, 
when  thou  art  at  war  with  thy  e\a,  and  it  with  thee.  For  tbft 
Lord  many  times  clears  up  bis  love  lo  the  soul,  and  it  is  belter 
than  life  to  him;  but,  then,  winds  arise  and  storms  come,  and'' 
sin  and  Satan  assault,  and  now  he  cries  out,  be  perisbes,  and 
that  he  was  never  redeemed  by  Christ,  nor  never  saw  Christ 
love.  Should  his  soul  be  thus  insuared,  thus  assaulted,  and  no? 
strength  against  it,  and,  therefore,  being  under  the  power  of  i^^ 
hence  he  nerer  had  pardon.  They  can  not  overcome  their  c«w 
ruptions,  though  they  strive  against  them  ;  hence  think  they  nrtf 
under  the  power  of  them,  and  then  say,  Whore  is  Christ's  Spiritf 
etc.  Aat.  Wlicn  Rebekah  had  twins,  »o  Ihat  she  was  troubledi^ 
she  went  lo  the  Lord,  who  told  her,  "  The  elder  shall  serve  th* 
younger."  So  there  is  flesh  and  spirit  in  saints,  and  these  twtt 
are  contrary,  so  that  you  can  not  do  the  things  you  would ;  aiiA 
sometimes  can  not  will,  yet  aoroetbing  opposelh  this.  WelL, 
know  it,  that  the  elder  and  stronger  ahftll  serve  the  younger  ;  a 
shall  bo,  Lord.  A  man  that  is  at  war  wilh  another  has  receJTetb 
power  against  hira,  but  victory  is  not  gotten  presently  :  so  it  itf 
here  ;  judgment  shall  come  to  victory.  Though  thou  art  bruised^ 
and  canst  not  raise  up  thyself,  now,  there  is  no  fear  of  break-^ 
ing ;  if  God  will  not  do  tliat,  none  shall  do  it,  and,  therefore^ 
thou  shalt  get  victory.  Only  know,  for  the  present  thou  ha^ 
power.  Thou  goest  to  all  ordinances,  and  when  no  help  therat 
raisest  the  [lOwer  of  heaven„  0  Lord,  awake j  "Awake,  O' 
arm  of  the  liord."  Is.  H.  9.y^ 

2.  Do  not  think  that  the  being  of  grace  is  lost,  when  it  is  hidf-, 
by  the  cessation  of  it  for  a  time  from  acts.  For  it  b  hard  Hr 
know  whether  grace  be  there,  when  acts  are  not  seen  nor  fcltf 
now,  sometimes  it  is  so ;  ihe  heart  is  careless  and  negligent^ 
ceaaeth  from  acting,  quencheth  the  flame  of  the  Spirit.  Ilenot 
come  fears  —  Was  there  ever  grace  here  ?  The  sluggard's  garden 
is  full  of  neltles,  and  he  sailb.  Was  there  ever  good  seed  sowi 
here  ?  Am.  Consider,  it  is  in  ihls  case,  and  it  is  in  sia 
Though  the  act  of  sin  ceoseih,  yet  (here  is  a  henl  of  heart  s^ 
toward  it;  and  a  Okrnal  heart  will  rcturu  to  his  old  bias  tuij 
bent  again.     So  though  the  act  of  grace  ccaseih,  yet  there  is  w 


THE   TEN    VIRGINS.  227 

iooer  man,  a  gracious  bent  and  frame  put  upon  the  will ;  that 

though  for  a  time  it  ceaseth  acting,  yet  it  will  return  to  its  old 

bent  again,  to  its  own  nature,  which  is  called  '*  the  seed  of  God," 

(1  John  ilL  9,)  from  which  a  man  can  never  fall.     For  in  sleep 

there  is  cessation  from  acts,  yet  the  frame  remains  still.     In  the 

old  law,  if  any  unclean  thing  fell  on  a  pitcher,  it  was  accounted 

unclean ;  but  if  in  a  spring,  not,  because  it  would  work  it  out 

again ;  so  here.     There  is  a  spring  of  grace,  which  may  be 

muddied  and  stopped  up,  yet  it  will  work  itself  clear  again.     Ands^. 

this  Grod's  people  shadl  find,  there  is  something  in  them  that 

springs  up  to  everlasting  life  all  their  days. 

3.  Do  not  judge  only  of  the  truth  and  measure  of  grace  by 
what  thou  hast  in  thy  hand  of  feeling,  but  by  what  thou  )ia8t  in 
thy  hand  of  faith  in  the  promise.  Grod  has  ever  delighted  to 
keep  his  people  short  of  what  they  would  have,  and  to  give  them 
but  little,  insomuch  that  they  often  question  the  truth  of  grace, 
feeling  so  little  measure  of  it.  Yet  they  look  to  the  riches  of 
God's  grace,  to  the  freeness  and  riches  of  the  Lord's  promise, 
and  hang  there,  and  plead  that,  and  suck  that  breast.  Ans.  O, 
now  consider  thou  art  empty,  but  remember  the  I^rd  Jesus  is 
full,  and  the  promise  is  free  and  full.  O,  the  riches  of  it,  to  give 
abundantly,  and  to  work  truth  to  thee!  Hence  it  is  there  in  the 
promise,  and  thy  faith  hangs  on  the  promise  for  it.  Why,  it  is 
thine  by  faith  then.  The  nature  of  faith  is  to  carry  the  soul 
empty  to  a  promise  and  the  Lord's  grace,  and  Christ  there,  so 
that  it  knows  not  whither  else  to  go  for  bread  but  here.  Now, 
faith  doing  thus,  it  makes  the  promise  and  all  of  it  thine.  2  Pet. 
i.  1,  4.  Abraham  had  his  child  first  in  the  promise,  when  he 
felt  a  dry  body,  and  saw  a  barren  womb.  And,  know  it,  it  is 
infinite  mercy  to  be  kept  up  in  the  promise,  and  thou  givest  the 
Lord  infinite  glory  by  embracing  of  it  now,  and  thou  mayst 
triumph  here.  "  Hast  not  said,  Lord,  that  Solomon  shall  reign," 
and  sin  shall  not  ?  It  shall  not.  O,  rejoice,  O  heavens  and 
earth,  at  this,  for  the  Lord  has  visited  me.  God  took  from  Paul 
hi:<  revelations,  and  sent  distempers,  that  grace  might  be  mani- 
fested in  the  promise. 

4.  Do  not  think  that  the  Lord's  heart  is  not  toward  thee, 
while  he  hides  his  face  from  thee.     For  there  may  be  fro^^Tisl 
in  a  father's  face,  and  yet  love  in  his  heart ;  the  Lord  purposely  I 
hides  himself  from  his  people  sometimes,  especially  when  they  i 
b€*gin   to  grow  weary  of  him,  or  proud ;  but  yet  his  heart  is  I 
toward  them  still.     Now,  they  think  not  so ;  when  in  utter  dark- 1 
ness,  then  they  think  there  is  no  love.     The  woman  of  Canaan  J 
besought  Christ  oil,  yet  he  heard  not,  yet  his  heart  was  toward 


her.  How  did  that  appenr?  Her  heart  and  faith  was  «ti&-4 
toward  him.  she  would  not  leave  him  though  she  shoald  havt  M 
but  cnims.  Is.  xlv.  15,  and  viii.  17.  And  the  Lord  doih  pur-  I 
posel;f  hide  hb  face  in  love,  that  his  people's  hearts  mt 
toward  him.   Hosea  v.  15,  and  vi.  7. 

5.  Do  not  judge  of  the  Lord's  love  and  heart  toward  j 
these  sad  times  bj  present  feelings,  but  bj  the  issue  of  tlicm. 
For  Buch  is  the  Lord's  carriage  toward  hia  people  sometimes, 
that  God  seems  wholly  to  cross  them,  and  appears  in  all  their 
ways  with  a  drawn  sword  against  them.  He  doth  not  only 
leave  them  to  their  enemies,  as  he  did  Samson,  but  to  their  sins, 
aod  to  Satan  to  buffet  them,  that  there  is  nothing  but  clouds  of 
wrath,  and  no  star  appearing.  Now,  look  to  the  issue,  and 
"mark  the  upright  man:  his  end  is  peaee;"  and  consider  this, 
Christ's  kingdom  is  liiJ,  and  he  brings  contraries  out  of  C0Dtr»- 
ries,  ho  makes  darkness  light,  hell  heaven,  guilt  pardon,*weak' 
ness  strength,  and  colls  things  that  are  not  as  though  they  were. 
Then,  think  within  thyself,  I  will  conclude  nothing  agiunst  myself, 
but  stay  and  wait  what  the  issue  will  be,  which  is  ever  glori- 
ous, .lames  i.  2-4;  1  Pet.  i.  5-7.  Consider,  has  not  the  Lord 
done  thee  much  good  already?  O,  consider  what  is  then  be- 
hind. 

6.  Never  enter  iiUo  dispute  with  Satan,  or  thine  own  self, 
about  thy  estate,  but  taking  and  making  Scripture  and  word  to 
be  the  judge  of  the  controversy.  Fears  corae  in  you  shall  never 
have  mercy,  never  have  power.  Who  told  you  so  ?  Doth  the 
word  say  that?  The  Lord  itever  gave  himself  to  me,  I  fear  it! 
Doth  the  word  say  so  ?  Never  waa  any  as  I.  Doth  the  word 
say  so?  or,  doth  not  the  word  say  so?  God  delights  to  pick 
out  the  vilest,  to  send  the  physician  to  them  that  be  sick.  I  can 
not  see  nor  conceive  any  mercy.  Doth  the  word  say  so?  Are 
not  the  Lonl's  thoughts  above  thine?  I  have  not  that  peace  that 
others  have,  therefore  the  Lord  intends  none  toward  me-  Doth 
the  word  say  so?  O,  but  others,  if  they  knew  me,  would  loathe 
me.  Doth  the  word  say  ho?  When,  as  it  saith,  "Doubtless, 
theu,  thou  art  our  father."  Is.  Ixiii.  IG.  And  bring  l>erore  this 
judge  both  sides,  not  only  what  sin  can  say  or  may  do  against 
thee,  but  what  the  word  of  the  Lord  Jesus  can  pay  for  thee; 
(Jer.  xxjci.  18,  20,)  Ephraim  cries  out  of  stubbornness,  "O,  but 
is  not  Ephraim  ray  only  son?"  Hear  Ephraim  lamenting  too. 
And  hear  nothing  against  a  word.  Look  on  Paul  wn  * 
against  Clirisi,  and  yet  the  law  of  Christ  in  him  also. 
ixiv.  25. 

7.  In  times  of  greatest  and  smallest  fears,  remember  t 


THE  TEN  YIB0IN8.  229 

humble  and  vile  in  thine  own  eyes,  worthy  never  to  be  beloved. 

And  let  the  Lord  have  his  will  of  thee,  and  this  will  give  you 

peace.     God  denies  mercy  to  that  man  that  will  be  lord  of  it. 

To  be  sure,  evidence  mercy  then  he  will  not ;  and  when  he  doth 

inaoifest  it,  it  is  then  when  poorest  and  vilest,  and  heart  is  meek 

4iid  humble.  Is.  Ivii.  15,  16;  Matt.  xi.  29.     O,  the  Lord  opens 

^is  heart  and  love,  when  once  his  will  is  dear.     The  Lord  casts 

by  his  rod,  and  frowns  now,  and  creates  peace.     Thus  you  may 

CK)me  to  see  the  work  of  the  Lord's  grace  in  you. 

The  ministers,  to  take  heed  of  making  precious  things  com- 
^^son,  by  giving  in  false  signs  and  evidences  of  love,  but  look  up 
^  the  Jjord  for  a  special  Spirit  here. 

To  God's  poor  people  and  thankfulness.     O,  that  he  *'  hath 

^^adled  thee  from  darkness  into  marvelous  light,  into  the  kingdom 

^if  his  dear  Son ! "   O,  that  when  so  many  come  near  to  mercy, 

^nd  £;ill  short  of  it,  yet  me  to  be  let  in !    Caleb  and  Joshua  to  be 

let  into  Canaan,  when  they  rest  so  near,  and  all  perish.     Bless 

^he  Lord  for  all  afflictions,  fears,  temptations,  enemies,  evils, 

lidingB  of  his  face ;  h^^by  he  has  but  tried  thee  and  purged 

«way  thy  dross ;  and  be  comforted  against  all  reproaches  of 

hypocrisy  and  apostasy,  and  a  proud  world  that  cast  filth  in  the 

face  of  holiness.     "  Now,  we  are  sons  of  God,  it  appears  not 

what  we  shall  be,  but  we  shall  be  like  him  in  glory,"  in  grace, 

in  honor,  in  his  kingdom ;  ^'  for  we  shall  see  him  as  he  is."    And 

as  for  you  that  live,  and  lie,  and  bed  it  with  your  ease,  lusts, 

loathe,  and  G^  sends  you  means,  but  the  bellows  are  burnt,  the 

lead  is  melted,  and  your  dross  not  consumed ;  ^^  reprobate  silver 

shall  men  call  you,  and  Grod  shall  destroy  all  your  confidence." 

But  you  that  are  the  Lord's,  O  that  you  would  see  what  the 

Lord  has  done !    He  has  put  heaven  into  thy  soul,  and  his  work, 

which  is  more  glorious  than  the  creation  of  heaven  and  earth. 


CHAPTER  XVI. 

SHOWING  THAT  THE  HYPOCRISY  OF  THE  HEART  PROCEEDS  FROM 
A  WA>'T  OF  SAVIKU  ILLUMINATION   IN  THE  UNDERSTANDING. 

Section  I. 

The  spring  or  the  great  cause  and  original  of  evangelical       / 
truth  and  hypocrisy  is  the  mind_  of  man. 

For  here  there  was  an  apparent  dilJerence  l>etween  virgins  in 
their  practice  and  in  their  wills,  as  has  been  shown ;  yet  the 
VOL.  n.  20 


230  THE   PARABLE   OF 

Lord  expresses  it  in  general  thus,  that  some  of  them  were  wise, 
(which  is  one  part  of  the  perfection  of  the  understanding.)  and 
some  of  them  were  foolish,  (which  is  the  great  defect  of  light  in 
the  mind  or  understanding,)  because  the  truth  of  the  cme,  and 
the  falsehood  of  the  other,  manifested  what  their  hearts  were, 
in  their  heads  and  minds ;  and  the  truth  in  the  one,  and  hypoc- 
risy in  the  other,  did  arise  and  was  maintained  by  wisdom  in 
some  of  their  minds,  and  by  folly  in  the  mind  of  some  others. 
Folly,  or  want  of  divine  light,  made  the  one  unready  for  Christ; 
wisdom,  or  having  of  divine  light,  made  the  other  prepBured  for 
him  ;  not  that  it  doth  exclude  the  evil  or  change  of  the  will  and 
affections,  but  because  they  manifest  themselves,  and  are  main- 
tained in  the  mind.  Hence  I  say,  one  great  reason  or  original 
of  both  lies  in  the  mind.  Matt.  vi.  22,  23,  "  If  thy  eye  be  sin- 
gle, thy  whole  body  is  light,"  etc.  The  eye  or  mind  of  a  man 
sits  like  a  coachman,  and  guides  the  headstrong  affections;  if 
now  this  b<J  blind,  there  will  be  falls  and  deviations  in  crooked 
ways  ;  (John  iii.  19,  20,)  "  Light  is  come."  Now,  what  is  the 
condemnation  ?  "  I^Ien  love  darkness,"  i.  e.,  will  be  blind,  and 
having  sore  minds  and  hearts,  will  not  look  up  to  the  sun.  They 
see  not,  nor  receive  not  the  truth  in  love,  and  hence  condemned, 
and  e  contra.  Hence  (Deut.  xxix.  1-4)  Moses  sets  down  the 
causes  of  all  their  evils,  "  The  Lord  has  not  given  you  eyes  to 
see  to  this  day."  They  did  see  and  hear  by  natural  and  acquired 
knowledge,  but  not  by  a  divine,  created,  infused  knowledge,  all 
that  God  had  wrought  and  done  for  them.  Hence,  when  the 
Lord  intends  to  seal  down  the  Je\V8  under  unbelief,  (Is.  vi.  10,) 
the  Lord  then  said,  "  Shut  their  eyes  lest  they  see,  and  so  be 
converted."  The  heart  makes  the  eyes  blind,  and  the  mind  makes 
the  heart  fat.  A  man  that  is  at  enmity  with  God,  the  Lord  sets 
him  against  himself.  Hence  men  are  left  of  God  to  their  own 
lusts.  Luke  xix.  42,  44,  "  O  tliat  thou  hadst  known  !  and  they 
knew  not  the  day  of  visitation."  Hence,  (Deut,  xxxii.  29,)  *'0 
that  this  j)eople  had  been  wise  to  consider  their  latter  end!" 
You  know  it  is,  in  the  Proverbs  of  Solomon,  the  frequent  title 
of  those  that  arc  sincere, and  false-hearted,  the  one  is  called  wise, 
and  the  other  foolish ;  insomuch,  that  some  divines  liave  made 
a  necessity  of  a  change  and  turning  about  of  the  will,  when 
there  is  fullness  and  clearness  of  light  in  the  mind.  Else  they 
say  a  man  might  be  sapient  and  yet  impious  too,  which  can  not 
be.  But  I  dispute  not  about  that ;  there  be  many  brute  crea- 
tures that  imitate  the  knowledge  of  man,  yet  there  is  no  mind 
of  man  or  reasonable  soul  in  them ;  so  hypocrites  may  have 
excellent  abilities  of  reason,  and  yet  fall  short  of  that  new  mind, 


that  the  saints  have.     It 
I  of  glory  never  did  yet 


Ibe  eye  and  director  of  the  whole 
u  ever  dark  night  with  tbem,  lb< 
ari&e  upon  theio. 

Section  II. 

Because  all  divine  light  of  glory  is  ever  powerful,  through 
Christ,  to  change  the  heart.  Heaee,  if  hypocrilea  had  it,  their 
hearts  would  be  sincere,  which  ia  not  so,  and  henee  they  ever 
wikot  it,  whatever  light  else  they  have ;  and  hence  those  that 
have  it  must  be  sincere  ;  (John  viii.  32,)  "  You  shall  know  the 
Truth,  and  it  shall  nukke  you  free,"  i.  e.,  from  your  bondage  of 
fears  and  sins  ;  henee  David  prays  for  light,  (Pe,  cxix.  33,  34J, 
and  then  he  shall  he  set  at  liberty.  As  iron  is  drawn  to  the  loud- 
Mone  by  a  secret,  hidden  virtue,  ao  there  is  a  secret  virtue  of  di- 
vine light  that  draws  the  most  iron  heart ;  nay,  changes 
(John  ivii.  17,)'  '■  Sanctify  them  through  thy  truth,"  etc  ] 
ihis  is  tlie  difference  between  Gktd  and  man's  leaching;  and, 
henc«,  when  the  gospel  comes  in  power,  il  comes  in  demonstra- 
tion ;  whereby  the  heart  is  mightily  overpowered,  that 
but  fall  down  before  God,  whose  voice  and  truth  it  hears.  And] 
hence  the  young  man  saw  some  worth  in  Christ,  but  not  enougT 
and  hence  he  forsook  Christ.  Truth  is  not  stones,  but  bread  to 
them  that  see  it  indeed. 

2.  Becsnse/the  mind  is  the  first  inlet  of  all  sin  and  grace,  and] 
hence  all  hypocrisy  springs  from  thence.  Hence,  when  Satan] 
laid  his  tnun  to  htow  up  all  the  world  by  sin,  he  drat  enters  into 
dispute  and  parley  with  Eve,  and,  as  the  npoatle  speaks,  deceived  ■, 
her;  (1  Tim.  ii.  14,)  "The  woman  was  first  deceived."  And 
henoe,  when  Satan  came  with  his  last  and  strongest  temptation, 
to  draw  away  the  heart  of  Christ  to  him,  be  attempted  it  by  u 
sadden  presenting  to  his  mind  the  glory  of  all  the  world,  tioping 
thereby  to  get  in.  Nay,  in  the  unpardonable  sin  there  is  turnina 
cmciltu.  to  call  evil  good,  and  good  evil.  And  hence  the  Phari- 
sees that  did  commit  it  were  called  blind ;  and  when  sin  is  entered, 
it  fitrenglhens  itself  by  the  mind;  (Heb.  iii.  13,)  "Lest  any  of 
you  be  hardened  through  the  deceiifulnessof  sin,"  As  it  is  with 
cities,  they  might  easily  be  taken,  but  for  the  fortfi  that  are  built 
nlioat  them,  and  the  soldiers  that  are  tu  them ;  so  men  set  up 
their  hearts  and  minda  above  and  against  the  Lord  Jesus.  Tlie 
power  of  sin  lies  in  the  j>ower  of  darkness,  as  the  power  of  a 
weak  state  in  the  wisdom  of  its  counsel.  And  hence,  when  the 
Spirit  comes,  all  tlie  work  of  it  is  espresaed  by  conviction  of  sin, 
righteousness,  and  judgment :  because,  convince  one  effectualty, 
aixl  ytiu  convert  him.     And  hence,  when  the  Lord  comes  with 


J 


8S3  THE    PARABLE    OP 

life,  he  comes  in  by  light ;  (Eph.  r.  14,)  "  Christ  shall  give  diM 
lighl."  And  hence,  when  the  gospel  comes  lo  lake  airny  all 
dark neea  and  sin,  it  is  sud,  Salan'a  chief  policy  lies  in  tluB,  to 
blind  men's  eyes,  (2  Cor.  iv.  4,)  either  by  obscuring  the  lighl, 
or  by  kindling  a  false  light  in  their  minds,  that  they  shall  think 
they  see  when  their  darkness  remains  ;  not  but  that  there  ia  filth 
enough  in  the  will,  but  Satan  knows  that  Christ  shines  into  the 
heart  by  the  mind  ;  and  hence  he  blindf  men,  and  then  be  knows 
he  shiLll  damn  men.  Beloved,  if  men  had  the  Spirit,  it  would 
lead  them  into  all  truth  :  now,  this  the  world  can  not  receive, 
because  (John  xiv.  17)  "  it  knows  him  not"  This  is  that  which 
0[>ens  and  shuts  U>  all  life  and  ain  ;  not  that  bare  light  can  changa 
the  will,  but  the  Lord  doth  it  by  the  [wwer  of  his  truth  and  li) "  ' 
And  as  it  is  with  water  coming  through  some  mines,  there  i 
healing  virtue  in  it  j  so  light  coming  firom  everlasting  lore, 
heals  men  of  their  evils. 


sive, 
bicb 


«thJ 

3,  bid 


Section  IIL 

Uke  1.  Ilenco  see  the  danger  of  two  sorts  of  men  especially. 

1.  Of  those  that  fly  from  the  light,  which  is  done  sundry  ways. 
I  will  mention  only  one  that  h  used  by  a  false  heart.  A  man  it 
troubled  in  mind  concerning  his  estate,  fijars  death  and  hell,  and 
80  few  shall  be  saved,  how  can  I  be  one  ?  etc  How  comes  he  to 
fear?  The  Lord  has,  by  hia  Spirit  in  the  word,  discovered  and 
found  out  his  sin  ;  the  thief  is  taken,  and  apprehended,  and  con- 
demned i  he  hears  still,  but  yet  can  find  no  peace.  Why  ?  " 
cause  he  lives  in  those  sins  that  he  is  convinced  of.  Hence 
word  raiseth  damps  and  heart  qualms,  that  he  lias  no  peace, 
is  ever  pulled  from  his  own  bottom  and  hypocrisy,  and  the  t 
discovers  more  sins,  and  has  no  peace.  The  word  will  not  giva 
nor  offer  Christ  and  a  base  lu^  together,  nor  will  not  suffer  any 
to  have  them  both  in  peacc^Hereupon  tlie  soul,  flndiog  no  rest 
nor  peace,  (which  the  faUe  heart  seeks  for  chieify,)  flies  from  the 
light,  especially  if  it  has  found  out  a  shorter  cut  to  its  pence,  by 
any  device  or  golden  delusions  of  men.  And  now  they  will 
hear  no  more,  and  the  publishers  of  God's  truth  are  tyran- 
nical tormentors  of  the  consciences  of  them  that  be  weak,  faliQ  ^ 
prophets  that  lead  them  out  of  the  way  of  peace-  And  b 
of  this,  they  think  they  were  led  out  of  ihe  way  of  t 
cause  out  of  the  way  of  peace.  Or,  if  they  do  come,  i 
eit  with  disdcun  and  contempt  of  men,  (alas!  they  speak  a 
ing  to  their  light,)  and  of  all  the  truths  of  God,  which  shall  a 
day  be  preached  over  again  in  flames  of  fire,  to  their  etem 


bmtQT.  Rev.  vi.  2,  it  ie  saitl,  "  Cbrist  rides  on  a  white  borne, 
coiKjueriiig  and  to  conquer."  Men  liuve  unraly  tiearta,  anil  strong 
hearts,  and  tbey  will  not  die,  not  yield  presently.  And  lience, 
when  oue  3in  is  ca«t  awny,  another  steps  inio  Uie  room  of  il ;  and 
when  that  is  gone,  another  supplies  the  place  of  it,  and  commonly 
the  strongest  sin  and  temptation  ia  the  last.  Now,  hence  Christ 
goes  on,  rides  on  in  the  chariot  of  the  word,  conquering  and  to 
conquer  still.  Those  tliat  do  j'ield^  he  saves  ;  (lioi<e  that  will  not, 
he  slays.  Now,  these  poor  ereatuwa  have  had  C'lirist's  arrows 
in  them,  and  are  wounded  for  some  sin,  but  the  Lord  discovers 
more  stili ;  hence,  at  last,  they  fly  away  with  (he  arrows  in  their 
hearta  for  ease.  O,  poor  creatures,  know  it,  the  Lord  Jesus  will 
find  you  out  You  will  not  be  coni|ucred  by  him,  you  shall  never 
be  saved  by  bim.  You  have  light,  you  shall  have  delusions, 
endless,  unknown  hypocrisy  and  ilarkness  'to  be  your  portion. 
There  is  never  a  pkin  heort,  but  he  accounts  that  wound  nnd 
trouble  greatest  mercy,  and  blesseth  the  Lord  that  he  will  not 
give  him  his  sine  and  peace  with  tbem  loo. 

%  Those  that  fly  not  from  the  light  of  the  truth,  but  give  it 
the  hearing,  but  yet  let  it  slip;  either  not  minding  it  then,  or  not 
jionderiiig  it  afterward ;  that  before  tbey  come  thirst  not  ibr 
more  light,  look  not  up  for  it,  nor  are  mourning  when  the  Lord 
hides  it  Irom  their  eyes.  Some  there  bo  that  be  such  all-suffi- 
cient  men,  so  good  they  need  be  no  better,  so  wise  that  they  need 
no  more;  some  insufficient,  indeed,  to  know,  and  hence  eier 
learning,  hearing,  but  never  coming  to  the  knowlcdj^e  of  the 
truth.  If  light  breaks  not  in,  they  con  lie  in  darkness  still,  and 
not  mourn,  ond  think  no  more  of  it  than  a  tale  that  is  told,  or 
news  that  is  brought.  O,  look  to  your  standing;  for  you  are  in 
the  high  road  to  hypocrisy,  and  it  ia  impossible  you  should  he 
kept  from  it  that  lie  so  ;  (John  xii.  35,)  "  Walk  while  3'ou  have 
the  light,  lest  darkness  come  upon  you."  Satan  knew  if  light 
dime  in  Christ  would  come  in.  And,  therefore,  know  il,  all  that 
time  thoj  hast  heard  and  heard,  but  not  with  divine  light,  hast 
got  only  somewhat  to  prate  on  now,  lo  be  of  another  opinion  now 
irom  what  ihon  wnst.  0,  now,  Satan  has  heen  let  loose,  by  the 
dreadful  vengeance  of  Almighty  God,  to  blind  thee,  that  so  thon 
mightst  die  in  thy  hypocrisy  and  ein.  O,  poor  captives,  mourn 
under  (his,  and  hehold  your  danger  for  time  to  come. 

Ute  2.  Hence  see  the  reason  why  many  that  have  had  mighly 
strong  affections  at  first  conversion  afterward  become  dry,  and 
^wither,  1    '  '    '  '  "  '  ■    ■    • 


r  hy- 
o  all  the  world  hy  open  profancncss, 
t  to  the  discerning  eye  of   living  Christians,  by  a  fonnal. 


nifes^  if  n 


234  THE  PARABLE   OP 

barren,  unsavory,  unfruitful  heart  and  course,  because  tbey  never 

(had  liglit  to  conviction  as  yet.  ^You  shall  have  some  ignonnt 
creatures,  awakened  by  some  thundering  ministry,  weep  and 
mourn  for  sin,  and  after  vanish  into  smoke,  being  never  oon- 
vinccd  of  sin.^  Land  floods  of  sorrow,  without  a  spring  of  lig^ 
are  dried  up,  and  make  the  heart  more  fruitful  in  sin  afterward. 
Many  go  under  fears  of  wrath,  and  never  get  peace,  because 
never  convinced  of  wrath.  Many  are  affected  with  Christ,  and 
with  joy  of  the  gospel,  as  the  stony  ground ;  but  they,  wanting 
depth  of  earth,  of  conviction,  die  away  again ;  and  hence  all 
the  world  can  never  stop  a  Christian  in  his  shining  profession, 
no  more  than  they  can  the  sun  in  his  course,  as  Paul,  (2  Cor. 
V.  11,)  "We,  knowing  the  terror  of  the  Lord,  persuade  men." 
And  hence  Moses  (Heb.  xi.  27)  feared  no  frowns  of  Pharaoh, 
cared  for  no  honors  from  Pharaoh ;  he  saw  the  God  that  was 
invincible,  and  lience  Christ  prays  for  his  disciples  to  be  kept 
from  evil.  "The  world  has  not  known  me,  but  these  have 
known  me."  John  xvii.  When  men  are  condemned  to  die,  they 
take  on,  because  now  tliey  see  death  ;  but  here,  in  time  of  health, 
they  see  it  not.  If  men  wrong  a  child,  their  heart  smites  them 
and  grieves ;  but  the  Lord  is  abased,  dishonored,  and  men  are 
not  affected,  because  they  want  light,  and  see  it  not.  If  men  be 
to  match  with  a  prince,  or  stand  before  him,  it  is  counted  blessed- 
ness ;  but  before  Christ  it  is  a  burden,  because  men  know  it  not. 
It  is  strange  to  see  some  people  carried  with  mighty  affection 
against  sin  and  hell,  and  after  Christ.  And  what  is  hell  you 
fear  ?  A  dreadful  place.  What  is  Christ  ?  They  scarce  know 
so  much  as  devils  do ;  but  that  is  all.  O,  trust  them  not.  Many 
have,  and  these  will  all,  away  to  some  lust,  or  opinion,  or  pride, 
or  worhl,  and  the  reason  is,  they  never  had  light  enough.  John 
V.  35.  "  John  was  a  burning  and  shining  light,  and  they  did  joy 
in  him  for  a  season ; "  yet,  as  glorious  as  it  was,  they  saw  not 
CJifist  by  it,  especially  not  with  divine  light.     It  is  rare  to  see 

rChristians  full  both  of  light  and  affection.  And,  therefore,  con- 
sider of  this,  many  a  man  has  b«*en  well  brought  up,  and  is  of 
a  sweet,  loving  nature,  mild,  and  gentle,  and  haimless,  likes  and 
loves  the  best  things,  and  his  meaning,  and  mind,  and  heart  is 
good,  and  has  moi*e  in  heart  than  in  show,  and  so  hopes  all  shall 
go  well  with  him.  I  say  there  may  lie  greatest  hypocrisy  under 
greatest  affections,  especially  if  tliey  want  light.  You  shall  be 
hardened  in  your  hypocrisy  by  them.  I  never  liked  violent  af- 
fections and  pangs,  but  only  such  ju?  were  dropped  in  by  light ; 
because  those  come  from  an  external  ])rincii)le,  and  last  not,  but 

I  these  do.     Men  are  not  affrighted  by  the  light  of  the  sun,  though 

\  clearer  than  the  lightning. 


THE  TEN    VIRGINS. 


235 


(As  S.  Hence  lake  heed  of  contenting  joursolves  with  evi 

I  Uini  of  knowle)ige.     Do  not  worship  every  image  in  your  own  ] 

'  heads,  especially  you  that  tkll  short  of  truth,  or  the  knowledge 

'    of  it;  for  when  you  have  some,  lliere  may  be  yet  that  wanting 

irhich  may  make  you  sincere.     There  are  many  men  of  great 

wledge.'abte  to  leaeh  themselves  and  others  too,  and  yet  their 

fi«art8  ore  unsound.     (low  comeH  this  to  pn«s?     la  it  because 

tliey  have  so  much  light  ?     No,  but  Iiecause  they  want  much ; 

I    and  therefore  content  not  yourselves  with    every  knowledge- 

I    There  is  some  knowledge  which  men  have  by  the  light  of  natiiro  | 

I    (which  leaves  them  without  excuse)  from  the  book  of  creation,  I 

some  by  power  of  education,  some  by  the  light  of  the  law,  f 

whereby  men  may  know  their  sin  and  evib;  some  by  the  letter 

of  the  gospel,  and  so  men  may  know  much  and  speak  well,  and 

eo  "  in  seeing  see  not ; "  some  by  the  Spirit,  and  may  see  much, 

BO  B3  to  prophesy  in  Christ's  name,  and  yet  be  bid  depart.  Mutt. 

Tii,     Now,  there  is  a  light  of  glory,  whereby  the  elect  see  things 

in  another  manner ;  to  tell  you  flow,  they  can  not ;  it  is  the  be- 

^  ginning  of  light  in  heaven,  and  the  same  Spirit  that  Ulla  Christ 

1  filling  their  minds,  that  Ihey  know  by  this  anointing  all  things, 

[  which  if  ever  yon  have,  you  must  become  ttabes  and  fools  in  your 

I  own  eyes.     God  will  never  write  his  law  in  your  minds  till  all, 

'  t]ie  scribblings  of  it  are  blotted  out.     Account  all  your  knawl-  | 

,    edge  loss  for  tlie  gaining  of  this.  /  It  is  sod  to  eee  many  a  man  1 

I  pleasing  himself  in  his  own  dreaming  delusions,  yet  the  jSttOF^ 

ire  in  seeing  sees  not,  wbich  is  God's  heavy  euree  upon 
I  men  under  greatest  means,  and  which  lays  all  waste  and  deso- 
late ;  (Is.  vi.)  •■  How  long  ?  until  all  be  waste."   Ver.  1 1. 

Cte  i.  Hence  see  the  right  may  of  living  a  life  of  truth,  of 
'being  an  Israelite  in  whom  is  no  guile."  Keep  light  in  your 
[  minds,  and  you  will  keeji  truth  alive  in  your  hearts  and  lives. 
I  Atony  a  sincere  heart  may  have  hypocrisy  and  much  unsound- 
I  ness  in  him,  though  he  be  no  hypocrite.  But  how  comes  it  so 
L  to  be?  And  whence  so  little  truth?  and  hence  so  many  feurs 
land  doubts  atwut  their  estates  conthiually?     O,  men  lose  that 

florioos  light  tliat  sometimes  they  have.     For  when  you  have  it 
I  an  ordinance,  0,  how  sweet  is  the  Lord  and  all  his  ways  to 
■  jrou  1     Afterward  you  have  lost  your  hearts,  truly  it  is  because 
fou  have  lost  your  light. 
Two  ways  hypocrisy  vents  itself,  which  God's  people  oppose. 
I.  In  secret  withdrawing  of  the  heart  to  sin.     O,  now  get 
ighl;  Ibr  sin  never  draws  away,  but  by  appearance  of  some 
■pMMl  at  least,  pro  hie  H  nunc.     James  i.  14,  Now  put  oS'  the 
■eovcring,  keep  the  mind  from  being  deceived,  you  will  keep  the 
1  bcart  from  being  hardened,  deadened,  and  withdrawn  from  God. 


236  THE  PARABLE   OF 

ft 

2.  In  performing  duties,  but  not  for  Christ  as  their  utmost  end; 
now,  the  heart  is  bent  this  way,  yet  it  fails,  because  light  is  gone, 
to  see  and  behold  the  glory  and  blessedness  of  this.  Men  that 
have  honor  or  gain  in  their  eye  are  carried  violently  after  it. 
Men  tliat  are  bound  for  a  voyage  will  go  through,  their  eye  leads 
them.  Stephen  speaks  till  the  stones  were  about  his  ears.  "  I 
see  Jesus,"  saith  he,  "  at  the  right  hand  of  God."  2  Cor. 
XV.  58,  "  Be  abundant  in  the  Lord's  work,  knowing  that  your 
lal>or  is  not  in  vain."  Hence  David  (Ps.  cxix.)  begs  for  knowl- 
edge of  this  and  that,  and  then  he  will  do  it.  O,  therefore,  keep 
it  in  your  minds  as  precious  ;  (Prov.  ii.  10,)  **  If  knowledge  be 
pleasant,"  etc.  And  pray  to  God  to  keep  it  ifor  you.  Light  is  in 
the  sun,  and  not  ceased  to  tliis  day ;  so  if  the  Lord  would  put  in 
this  light,  and  be  the  perpetual  fountain  thereof  to  you,  it  would 
abide,  etc     "  Thy  word  I  have  liid  in  my  heart,"  etc  Ps.  cxix. 

Section  IV. 

Hence  learn  the  cure  of  hypocrisy,  viz. :  remove  the  cause, 
which  is  folly,  and  if  you  would  be  sincere,  O,  prize  and  beg  for 
more  light,  and  love  it,  and  you  shall  then,  after  you  have  digged 
for  it,  find  it.  Would  it  not  be  sad  to  be  led  blindfold  like  them 
till  they  were  in  the  midst  of  Samaria,  so  till  in  the  midst  pf 
heir?  Would  it  not  be  sad  to  be  like  Sodomites,  groping  for  the 
door,  especially  you  that  are  come  over  to  this  country  for  more 
of  the  knowledge  of  Christ  ?  O,  then,  beloved,  take  heed  you 
bury  not  your  minds  in  the  earth,  lose  not  your  thoughts  in  the 
dung.  And  you  must  stand  one  day  before  God,  when  the  book 
of  the  secrets  of  your  hearts  shall  be  opened,  when  if  found  too 
light,  then  would  it  not  be  a  doleful  parting  to  lose  the  Lord  Je- 
sus after  such  light  and  affections,  for  want  of  a  little  more  light  ? 
O,  look  to  yourselves  now. 

Means  1.  Stick  close  to  the  guidance  of  the  Scriptures,  and 

love  them.     Moses  saith,  **  Then  other  nations  shall  say,  What 

people  so  wise  ?  "  Deut.  iv.  G.     And  these  make  "  the  men  of 

God  (2  Tim.  iii.  15)  full  of  God's  Spirit,  wise  unto  salvation;" 

and  for  neglect  of  this,  the  Lord  gave,  and  does  give  men  up  to 

strong  delusions,  that  they  believe  lies,  viz.,  *'  because  they  loved 

not  the  truth."     Never  a  truth  but  is  unsealed  by  blood,  and 

revealed  to  be  the  infinite  wisdom  of  the  Father,  and  love  to  poor 

lost  men,  where  God  opens  all  his  heart ;  if  men  will  despise 

I  these,  it  is  a  pity  but  they  should  be  blinded.     Do  not  seotf  at 

I  those  that  know  the  Lord  here  ;  they  are  Scripture-learned  men  ; 

I  if  not,  never  Spirit-leanied.     Take  this  for  your  counselor,  in  all 


THE  TEN   TIRGINS.  237 

r  joar  doubts  and  fears  it  will  teach  jou.  A  man  gets  an  opinion, 
or  falls  in  love  with  a  sinful  corruption ;  both  deceive  him.  Why 
so  ?  Is  there  no  word  against  it  ?  O,  yes,  but  they  will  not  hear 
it,  hot  make  God  and  Scriptur^  bow  down  to  them  ;  they  will  not 
be  led  by  it     O,  entreat  the  Lord  to  keep  thee  from  that 

Meant  2.  Be  abundant  in  meditation  daily.  Ps.  cxix.  99.  It 
18  a  hundred  to  one  else^if  not  miserably  deluded.  And  as  the 
Spirit  oonvinceth  first  of  sin,  righteousness,  and  judgment,  so 
let  your  thoughts  be.     This  makes  a  man  see  far  and  see  much. 

Jfeans  3.  Practice  what  you  know,  and  taste  the  sweetness  of 
it  there.  Ps.  cxix.  100.  Aiid  then  the  heart  will  grow  savingly 
full  of  divine  light  Nothing  makes  men  foolish  but  this.  *'  O, 
taste  and  see."  O,  if  men  knew  the  sweet  of  this  way  of  truth, 
they  would  ever  walk  in  it,  and  bring  others  to  submit  to  it 
^  Shall  I  hide  from  Abraham  that  which  he  will  teach  his  fam- 
ily ?  "  Gen.  xviii.  17,  19. 

Meam  4.  Cast  up  your  eyes  to  Christ  glorified,  being  full  of 
the  Spirit  for  thee,  and  beg  of  him,  as  if  he  were  with  thee,  to 
send  it  down.    As  Solomon  asked  this.     See  John  vii.  39. 

Use  6.  O,  learn  to  be  exceeding  thankful  for  any  saving  light 
the  Lord  has  kindled  in  you,  if  ever  it  has  been  powerful  to  dis- 
cover and  remove  the  hidden  hypocrisy  of  thy  heart,  that  now 
the  Lord  has  made  thee  plain  and  serious  for  him,  that  it  is  death 
not  to  live,  heaven  for  to  live  unto  him.  O,  then  bless  the  Lord 
for  that  means  that  did  it  for  thee  ;  thou  mightst  have  perished 
in  thy  own  delusions  and  dreams.  Time  was  when  thgu  wast 
deceived ;  now  the  Lord  has  made  thy  eyes  brighter  than  the 
sun,  to  see  such  things  as  are  hid  from  great  ones  in  the  world. 
O,  though  it  be  but  a  little,  yet  if  real  and  saving  light,  bless 
him.  A  man  that  has  been  in  midst  of  sands,  and  withoutl 
%  pilot,  afterward  looks  back,  and  saith,  There  I  might  have! 
spUt  O,  this  is  wonderful  to  him  !  O,  Christ  did  thus  !  "  l] 
thank  thee  thou  hast  hid,"  etc.  Matt  xi.  25.  The  Lord  has  hia 
them  from  heads  and  hearts  of  many  wise  and  prudent,  and  ever 
they  shall  be  hid,  and,  e  contra,  revealed  them  to  thee,  a  babe,  a 
weak  one,  a  poor  ignorant  one ;  (Matt  xvi.  17,)  "  Flesh  and 
blood  has  not  revealed  it,"  so  as  to  build  here  on  this  righteous- 
ness, to  bring  all  light  and  life  from  Christ,  and  cleave  alone  to 
him.  O,  remember  you  are  called  "  out  of  darkness  into  mar- 
velous light  to  show  forth  his  virtues."  What  canst  thou  desire 
more  than  eternal  life  ?  And  this  is  it  1  John  v.  20 ;  John 
xviL30. 


J 


238  THE  PARABLE   OP 


CHAPTER    XVn. 

THAT  HTrOCRITES  DISCOVER  THEMSELVES  IX  AN  INEFFECTUAL 

USE  OF  THE  MEANS  OF  GRACE 

Secondly.  Uie  difference  between  the  wise  and  foolish  Vtr^m  i$ 
set  down  more  particularly^  ver.  8,  4. 

Section  L 

This  particular  difference  is  declared  by  the  different  practice 
of  the  foolish  and  wise  virgins  each  from  other. 

1.  That  the  foolish,  though  thej  had  so  much  wisdom,  like 
the  wise,  as  to  take  lamps,  yet  so  much  folly  was  bound  up  in 
their  heart,  as  that  ""  they  took  no  oil  in  their  vessels  for  their 
lamps." 

2.  That  the  wise  did  not  only  light  their  lamps,  but  they  did 
also  fill  their  vessels  with  oil,  that  either  their  lamp  might  never 
go  out,  or,  if  it  did,  it  might  be  soon  kindled  again.  More 
plainly :  the  foolish  contented  themselves  with  the  name  and 
blaze  of  outward  profession,  kindled  from  some  inward,  yet 
lighter  and  more  superficial  strokes  of  Grod's  Spirit,  neglecting 
the  work  within.  But  the  wise  did  not  only  carry  their  lamps 
of  outward  profession,  but  they  filled  their  vessels,  and  got  an 
inward  principle  of  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  Jesus  to  maintain  their 
profesajon  before  men,  and  their  uprightness  before  the  Lord. 
So  that,  mcthinks,  here  is  a  double  difference ;  the  first  is  im- 
plied, the  second  plainly  expressed. 

1.  That  which  is  implied  is  this,  that  the  foolish  made  choice 
of  a  good  end,  viz.,  to  meet  Christ ;  but  it  was  with  an  inef- 
fectual use  of  means  to  that  end  ;  their  lamps  were  to  light  and 
lead  them  to  Christ  These  lights  might  blaze  for  a  time,  but 
they  would  consume  without  oil.  They  neglect  that ;  the  wise 
wer^  better  instructed  than  so. 

?.  The  foolish  glory  in  an  outward  profession,  as  also  in  some 
superficial  affection,  without  an  inward  principle  of  the  gracious 
presence  of  the  eternal  anointing  and  Spirit  in  them ;  but  the 
wise  have  it,  and  are  carried  to  glory  by  it  And  more,  at  this 
time,  of  the  lamps  and  vessels  I  shall  not  speak. 

Doct.  1.  Tliat  the  closest  hypocrites  of  virgin  churches  dis- 
cover themselves  (at  least  before  the  Lord)  in  an  effectual,  use 
of  those  means  that  do  conduce  toward  their  desired  and  ex- 
pected end. 

The  bridegroom  is  here  looked  for ;  the  presence  of  Jesus  is 


TnE    TEN   VIRGINS. 


longed  for ;  he  comes  in  the  night ;  Ihey  must  meet  him  in  the 
nighL     Now,  means  they  use,  latnps  they  take,  and  so  much  oil 
08  kindles  their  iompH ;  but  oil  they  take  not  in  their  vessels, 
'  e  oDly  meaas  to  preserve  their  lamps  from  going  out,  tliat  so 
liej  may  meet  the  Lord,  and  not  be  shut  out  from  the  Lord,  as 
t  last  these  careless  virgins  were.     Search  the  churches  for  the 
resent,  search  the  records  of  past  ages ;   many  have  desired 
__iid  looked  for  the  Lord,  and  yet  have  lost  the  Lord,  their  end. 
hlVliy  so  ?     They  never  had  hearia  effectually  to  use  and  improve 
flns  to  that  end,  either  outward  or  inward.     Look  upon 
[t  of  the  church ;  they  perish  because  they  have  no  rem- 
sdy,  they  have  no  lamps  to  light,  they  have  no  bread  lo  eat,  no 
■eans  to  help.     But  why  du  those  within  the  church  perish  ? 
■  it  because  there  is  no  remedy  ?     No  ;  but  because  they  do  not 
e  the  remedy.     Is  it  because  they  want  means  ?     No ;  but  be- 
.  uise  they  do  not  effectually  improve  means.     Here  they  fall 
Kvhort,  herein  they  discover  themselves.     Look   but  upon  this 
Bjtext  parable  of  the  talents,  verse  25.     One  of  thent  was  cast 
1;i)ff  and  cast  out.     Why  ?     Because  he  had  no  talent  'f    No  ;  but 
'  ecause  he  had  no  mind  nor  list  to  use  his  talent ;  he  did  not 
ikc  liis  gain  out  of  it  to  attain  his  end.     All  ordinances  of 
>d,  and  all  that  time  we  have  under  them,  are  talents.     Now, 
IKberein  do  hypocrites  fail  ?     There  is  a  secret  gain  of  ordinances 
Filiiich  hypocrites  regard  not,  and  hence  the  best  hypocrite  lives 
Tb  debt,  and  dies  a  Ijcggar.     For,  (Prov.  ivi.  17,)  "  Wherefore 
it  there  a  price  in  the  hand  of  a  fool,  but  no  heart  to  use  it  ? " 
_^ecions  liberties,  ordinances  that  many  have  desired  to  see  end 
Ikare  not  seen  them.     Why  does  the  Lord  belrust  him  with  such 
e  them  not  i'     0,  he  has  them  ;  but  here  is  his  wound,  he 
yu  no  heart  to  use  them.     Look  throughout  all  the  word,  why 
iMte  many  set  a  great  price  on  Christ  and  yet  have  lost  him  ? 
!,  like  liiggling  chapmen,  Ihey  have  had  a  desire  to  the 
K^Ommodity  ;  but  they  have  been  loth  to  be  at  the  cost  to  use  the 
Beaos  for  it.     The  gospel  brings  Christ  and  immortality  to  light, 
nd  this  serpent  is  lilted  up,  ihia  lamb  slain  before  men's  eyes, 
d  this  bread  put  to  men's  lips  and  mouths.     Why  are  not  all 
d  of  him,  blessed  in  him  ?     The  Lord  saith,  '^  Come,  and 
)  Spirit  saith  come,  and  the  bride  saith  come."     Why,  the 
r  n«son  is,  men  will  not  use  the  means  for  him.  Is.  Iv.  2-4.    Men 
J  ifill  lay  out  their  money,  tliougli  it  be  for  "  that  which  is  not 
I  tread."     Jer.  ii.  5-8,  "  I  brought  them  through  pits  into  a  pleas- 
land,  lo  eat  the   goodness   thereof."     And,  doubtless,  he 
Llbn<OUglit  not   a  herd  of  swiue   into  Cana.tn,   only  to   etijoy   the 
1.  outward  blessings  and  swill  of  Canaan,  but  lo  enjoy  the  good  of 


THE    TARABtE   OF 


hie  lemple,  orduumc«s.  etc.  But  n-bere  was  their  wound  ? 
"  Neiiher  priests  uor  people  stud.  Where  is  ihe  Lord  ?  "  i.  e., 
where  w  the  Lord  in  these  ways,  tliai  we  can  comt  .xt  last  to 
tLe  full  enjoyment  of  him  bj  these  ?  This  they  neglected. 
Methinks  it  is  with  the  be«t  hypocrites  as  it  was  with  diven 
merchiuita  ;  they  prize  and  desire  the  gain  of  merchandise,  bat 
to  be  at  Ihe  trouble  to  prepare  the  ship,  to  put  themselves  opoa 
hazards  and  dangers  of  the  ship,  to  go  and  fetch  the  treasure 
that  they  prize,  this  they  will  never  do.  So  many  priie  and 
desire  earnestly  the  treasures  of  heaven  ;  here  U  their  end,  bat 
to  be  at  the  trouble  of  a  heaven  voyage,  to  bring  this  treasure 
to  "pass  through  the  valley  of  Beco,"  tears,  temptations,  the 
powers  of  darkness,  the  breaches,  oppositions,  and  contvadictioiu 
of  a  sinful,  unbelieving  heart,  good  and  evil  report,  to  pass  from 
one  depth  and  wave  lo  another,  this  the  best  hypocrite  fails  in, 
and  hence  loses  all  at  last.  And  this  I  conc«ive  to  be  one  of 
the  great  differences  between  the  strong  desires  and  esteems  of 
hypocrites  and  saints. 

Section  IT. 

Reaion  1.  In  regard  of  God ;  because  this  neglect  is  one  irf 
ihe  great  means  by  which  he  does  execute  hie  eternal  rejection 
of  men,  and  hence  here  Ihey  ever  do  fail.  For,  first,  the  Lord 
has  chosen  some  to  life  —  the  end. 

2.  lie  chooselb  certain  means  to  lend  to  this  end. 

3.  lie  purposeth  to  carry  all  his  elect  by  these  means  to  that 
end;  thcjnselves  can  not,  hence  the  Lonl  doth.  And  hence 
arieeth  the  great  peace  and  support  of  the  saints,  when  they 
look  upon  the  everlasting  mountains  of  hinderanees  and  imposu- 
bililics  in  their  way,  Ihe  Lord  lias  undertaken  to  carry  theiik 
through  them.  John  xvii.  Id.  That,  when  heart  and  stren) 
fails,  he  will  be  heart  and  strength,  and  guide  by  bis  counsel  s 
bring  to  his  glory.  And  hence,  as  all  the  elect  are  to  be  certain^ 
carried  through  all  means  to  their  end,  and  this  is  proper  to  them, 
so  hence  the  best  hypocrite,  being  never  appointed  cerlwnly  lo 
come  to  this  end,  ever  fails  in  the  use  of  means  ;  there  he  is  and 
shall  be  forsaken  of  God,  and  forsake  God.  Hence  John  vi. 
When  many  used  the  means,  and  followed  Christ  for  n  time,  that 
they  might  have  life,  at  lost  they  forsook  Christ  and  means  to 
have  him.  Why?  Ver.  6,5.  Because  "none  can  come  to  rae, 
except  it  were  given  him  of  the  Father."  Hence,  look,  as  cer- 
tainly as  the  degree  of  re))ro)>ation  shall  Rtand,  he  having  not 
appointed  them,  to  tlio  end ;  so  he  never  carries  them  tlirough  all 
meaua  to  ihat  end,  and,  therefore,  here  they  do  ever  fail.     As  it  la 


^^^^^r  TUli  TEN    VJRG1K3.  2jl 

in  a  family,  those  that  the  lord  of  the  family  intends  to  girehis 
esttite  unto,  he  keeps  a  eirict  eye  upon  them,  keepd  them  UDder 
the  government  of  the  family ;  tm  for  others,  let  them  go  where 
Ihey  will,  and  do  what  they  will.  So  here  all  that  Bhull  enjoy 
God  are  put  under  tlie  kingdom  of  the  Son.  Hence  he  is  said 
to  be  given  up.     To  others  he  will  say,  You  love  liherty;  take 

Refiion  2.  Because  the  Lord  and  fellowship  with  him  is  never, 
indeed,  their  laat  and  utmost  end,  or  their  only  end  ;  but  they 
have  some  other  end  of  their  own,  and  henee  they  are  never 
c&rritid  strongly  through  all  means  to  that  end.  For  this  is  the 
nature  of  a  man's  last  and  utmost  «nd,  it  carries  a  roan  wilhont 
any  stop  toward  it,  and  that  with  delight.  As  a  man  that  has 
bonor,  and  preferment,  and  great  hopes  in  his  eye,  that  is  reach- 
ing to  the  lop  of  his  aspiring  thoughts,  he  will  ride,  and  run,  and 
flatter,  and  sin,  etc.  A  man  that  hsA  riches  in  his  eye.  he  will 
rise  early,  and  go  to  bed  late,  eat  the  bread  of  carefulness,  and 
he  never  has  enough.  A  man  that  is  sick,  and  has  health  in  his 
eye,  takes  his  physic,  observes  his  se.isons,  wastes  hia  estate,  for 
this  is  big  end.  Hence  (l  hypocrite,  never  making  Christ  bis  lust 
end,  bat  being  ever  "  a  double-minded  man,"  (James  i.,)  and 
having  liis  own  ends,  and  lusts,  and  self  to  attend  u^mn,  hence 
the  bias  draws  him  from  following  Christ  effectually ;  but  he 
iniul  follow  his  own  ends,  and  hence  ever  neglects  tlie  means 
that  lead  him  thereunto.  Matt.  vi.  24.  Look,  as  it  is  with  men 
that  have  two  trades  or  two  shops  ;  one  is  as  much  as  ever  they 
tan  follow  or  tend  i  tliey  are  forced  at  last  to  jmt  off  oue,  and 
they  must  neglect  the  one  ;  so  here. 

3.  In  regard  of  that  spirit  of  eloth  and  slumber  which  tlie 
Lord  ever  leaves  the  best  hypocrite  unto,  wliich  is  the  dearest 
lu--t  and  lust  enemy  that  the  Lord  destroys  in  all  his,  but  never 
destroys  in  these.  Which  so  mightily  oppresseth  all  their  senses, 
that  they  can  not  use  effectually  all  means  to  accomplish  their 
end^  And  hence  a  man  desires  the  end,  but  has  it  not  Prov. 
xiii.  4.  The  Lord  proposeth  the  most  glorious  end  to  his  peo- 
)ilr^,  but  it  is  through  many  diUieulties  that  we  must  eome  to  iU 
Now,  there  being  the  spirit  of  sloth  within  and  these  difficulties 
without,  a  hypocrite  sits  down  and  rests  under  llie  shadow  of 
Uiis  growing,  spreading  sin,  and  saith  it  is  hard ;  and  because  he 
cau  not  do  so,  he  hopes  it  is  but  an  inlirmity,  and  God  will  ac- 
cept of  Ills  desires,  and  here  perishetb.  Matt.  vii.  1 4,  "  Fur  stiait 
h  the  gate  that  leads  unto  life,  hence  few  there  be  lliat  find  it." 
Look,  03  it  was  with  the  Israelites,  Canaan  they  were  bound  for ; 
ihey  come  at  last  to  it;  but  when  their  spies  had  told  them  of 
VOL,  n.  21 


^P         S42 


■:  rAKABLE   OF 


the  difficulties,  they  sank,  only  Caleb  and  Joshua  of  that  migfaly 
host  that  had  upright  hearts  here.  Heavy  things  must  desceaj, 
though  cast  up ;  for  their  place  i^  downward.  Light  things,  caM 
them  downward,  yet  they  must  up  again ;  for  (heir  place  is  up- 
ward. So  it  is  here.  Sluggish  hearie  may  be  lift  up  by  meatu, 
but  they  can  not  hold  it ;  their  place  is  downward,  here  is  their 
rest.  So  saiuts,  e  contra,  like  fire,  will  consume  all  difficnlties; 
.  their  rest  is  upward.  J 

Section  111.  I 

L'se  1.  Ilencc  we  sec  one  ground  of  many  complaints  that  nrs  ' 
in  the  mouths  of  many  professors  of  the  ways  of  God,  that  never 
find  the  sweet  which  is  the  end  of  their  Christian  course ;  that 
are  ever  complaining  of  wants,  but  never  feel  supplies;  ever 
teaming,  never  triumphing  over  iheir  sins ;  ever  wishing  that 
they  had  the  Lonl,  but  never  possessing  the  Lord.  And  hence 
have  minds  full  of  tears,  and  mouths  full  of  complaints,  and 
hence,  finding  no  sweet  in  their  course,  could  be  content,  but  for 
shame,  to  throw  by  tlieir  profession.  Why,  where  is  the 
of  this?  Is  lienven  so  burren  and  beggarly,  that  there  are 
jewels  to  be  bad  there  ?  Are  the  fields  of  God's  ordinancis 
empty,  that  there  is  no  treasure  to  be  found  there  ?  0,  yea 
there  it  is,  but  Christians  are  idle ;  there  is  the  treasure,  but  Ibey 
cau  not  beg,  much  less  dig  for  iL  Prov.  ii.  3-C.  If  there  be  a 
treasure  in  the  ground,  and  a  man  can  find  nothing,  and  eo  is 
ever  complaining,  the  fault  is  in  the  man,  be  does  not  dig  long 
enough,  nor  deep  enough ;  so  it  is  here.  There  is  never  an  or- 
dinance, but  the  Lord  is  in  it ;  "  he  never  siud  to  the  house  of 
Jacob  seek  bis  face  in  vain."  Men  pray,  mid  if  a  few  sighs  will 
bring  in  relief,  well  and  good ;  if  not,  tJiey  cast  that  shovel  by, 
dig  1  can  not ;  they  spend  some  time  in  laying  sin  to  heart,  but 
if  I  can  not  presently  feel  the  bitlemess  of  it,  I  can  not  help  it, 
dig  I  can  nuL  A  man  may  bo  content  to  hear  the  word,  and  lo 
listen  after  it ;  but  to  stir  up  tbe  soul  to  lay  hold  on  the  Lord, 
that  their  sleep  forbids.  I'rov.  xiii.  4,  "The  soul  of  the  diU- 
gent  shall  be  made  fal."  Why  do  you  famish  under  means  ?  ia 
it  because  the  Lord  is  unwilling  or  unable  lo  relieve  ?  No; 
(John  vi.  27,)  "  You  labor  for  the  brea<l  that  perishes."  Labor 
not  for  it,  but  for  the  other,  and  the  Son  of  man  will  give  it  you ; 
for  he  is  sealed  for  that  very  end.  You  complain  your  hearta 
are  always  out  of  frame.  Tell  me,  do  you  keep  them  with  all 
diligence?  Prov.  iv.  23.  With  all  your  guard  about?  You 
complain  you  never  get  assurance.  Do  you  use  all  diligence  to 
make  it  sure  ?     You  complain  you  seek,  and  find  not.     Do  you 


lor 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS,  243 

mk  him  ^gently  ?  Heb.  xi.  6.  0,  this  is  the  cause.  "  The 
'  \ai  bas  giren  you  Ihe  spirit  of  slumber."  0,  lay  not  the  fault 
n  the  Lord,  but  ou  thine  own  careless  faeart,  and  lament  over  it, 
■d  tay,  Tlue  has  been  the  cause  of  all  my  complaints  anil  woe. 
kl  reuember  what  the  Lord,  by  Jeremy,  speak?,  "  Go  into  t)ie 
i^tolda;  for  tlie  Lord  has  poured  upon  us  the  spirit  of  deep 
K  and  given  us  the  waters  of  gall  lo  drink."  I  confess  the' 
"n  choicest  Bervanls  have  their  complaints,  their  sighs  and 
IS  unutterable  ;  ihey  have  their  fears,  temptations,  and  tears ; 
■  Ab  more  abundantly  ?  Yet,  beloved,  methinka  it  is  with  them 
rV  it  is  with  passengers  and  travelers  toward  their  home,  that 
ftey  see  it  twenty  miles  off  aometime,  when  they  be  on  the  top 
if"  a  hilL  After  they  have  gone  a  little  farther,  they  come  into 
a  lallcy.  and  then  they  complain  they  have  lost  the  sight  of  it,  and 
ran  not  see  it  again  scarce  till  they  be  upon  it ;  yei  they  sit  not 
liuWB  in  their  valley,  hut  are  going  toward  it.  /  "  They  go  from 
I  xreo^h  to  strength,"  though  they  come  tired  thither;  as  PST 
liuiT.  7,  8.  "They  pass  from  strength  to  strength,  till  they 
fwue  10  see  God  in  Sion."  Tbey  rest  not  in  their  complaints, 
^m  get  on ;  and  Ihe  alar  before  tbem,  tlie  means  that  lead  them 
'"  rluU  end,  make  them  (aa  Malt.  ii.  10)  "  rejoice  with  exceeding  I 
^TMU  joy,"  1  confess  they  may  for  a  time  give  way  to  their 
'IuiIl,  and  6it  in  their  valleys,  and  turu  day  into  night,  and  sleep 
"•n  almost  the  season  of  means  ;  yet  you  aball  ever  find  this,  if 
urdiaary  means  awaken  them  not,  terrible  flashings  and  light- 
uiogs  of  wrath  do;  aod  in  their  afflictions,  and  terrors,  and 
Mounds  of  conscience,  (Hos.  v.  15.)  "  They  shall  seek  the  Lord 
tariy."  Ponder,  therefore,  of  this  cause,  and  in  a  time  of  sor- 
niw  they  sliall  complain  for  something,  viz.,  their  sloth.  This 
may  be  tht  greatest  sin  of  some,  they  live  in  no  sin  but  ccm- 
'  -*-=—  ;  thy  complaints  may  be  fruits  of  sloth  in  not  using  means. 


I  (Ids  nwr  be  thy  great  s 
"     ■.  Hen.     ■  ■    ■ 


Vm  "i.  Hence  learn,  it  is  not  having  of  means  in  this  place, 
r  coning  bither  for  means,  that  will  do  you  any  good,  or  evi- 
dence your  safe  and  good  estate,  but  an  effectual  use  and  im- 
pruveneut  of  them ;  not  only  the  use  of  outward,  but  inward 

"■■■^B  too.     Men  that  have  never  so  great  a  slock  may  die  bog- 

I,  by  not  improving  it.   Deut.  ixii.  8,  4.  ~~1 

^1.  Many,  seeing  and  beholding  that  sun  which  is  set  with  them  I  ' 

here  in  these  western  parts,  —  partly  out  of  fenr  of 

I,  partly  by  friends'  pereiiasion  and  company,  partly  ta 

J  God  in  ordinances,  —  have  taken  iheir  flight  hither. 

bill,  S.  Being  come,  wisli,  0  that  our  eyes  liud  never  seen  it! 

Aljr  through  plenty  of  means,  despise  and  loathe  tbem ;  partlfjr 


THE   PARABLE    OF 


3  no  liearts  >i^l 


I  throiigU  multitude  of  coveting  or  veiJng  c 
||or  time  to  use  them. 

I  And  yet,  3.  Are  comforted  in  this  that  they  have  thcrnu  though 
I  they  see  no  God  in  them,  taste  little  sweetness,  receive  litite 
I  power  from  them,  and  ho|ie  to  go  to  heaven  at  next  remove,  that 
have  come  so  far  for  these,  etc.  I  would  to  God  it  were  to. 
I  Bui,  O,  consider, — 

I  1.  If  you  improve  them  not,  thy  coming  hither  is  but  the  dis- 
I  oovery  of  thy  hypocrisy  to  meo  and  angeU ;  for  this  is  the  stage 
f  whereiu  tlie  most  fine-apun  bypocrby  and  real  sincerity  shall  act 
'  its  part 

2.  Nay,  thou  art  so  far  from  being  blessed  in  having  them 

.   thus,  that  God's  fiercest  plagues  shall  here  approach  thy  dwell- 

g.     The  ark  among  the  Philistines  made  the  Lord  pla^e  the 

^listine^. 

,  Nay,  this  shall  hiy  all  desolate  one  day.    They  cried,  "  The 

temple  of  the  Lord."  Jer.  vii.     "  Go  to  Shiloh."     So  I  say,  go 

to  the  Palatinate,  go  to  Germany,  France,  go  to  the  places 

whence  you  came,  and  "  see  what  the  Lord  hAs  done." 

4.  This  shall  be,  as  to  saints,  greatest  joy,  when  they  ehail 
look  back,  and  see  all  the  difficulties  they  have  passed  over,  that 
here  ruid  there  hearts  aiid  help  failed,  and  there  I  lingered  ;  but 
the  Lord  was  merciful,  and  pulled  me  out  And  they  shall  won- 
der at  that  faitltfuhiess  and  grace.  So  here,  this  will  bo  terror 
and  anguish,  that  I  came  &o  far,  and  had  means,  and  took  soma 
pains,  and  was  almost  persuaded  one  time,  almost  confuted  aft* 
other,  almost  conquered  and  had  yielded  up  all  at  another] 
but,  0|  my  lump  foil  down  to  the  dust  again,  and  my  soul  ' 
aook  the  pursuing  of  the  Lord  ogiuD ;  and  this  shall  be  the  _ 
tioa  of  hypocrites.  Tou  may  neglect  and  wrap  up  your  (alej 
but  the  Lord  has  a.  time  to  call  you  lo  an  account  what  gain  j 
make.  Look,  therefore,  to  it,  it  may  lie  some  of  you  have  n< 
to  improve  means ;  you  despise  them  in  one  place,  and  httho^ 
you  come  for  them,  and  poor  hearts,  eyes  dim,  hearts  bard, 
sciences  asleep,  ears  dea^  breath  gone,  life  lost,  God  depai 
and  nothing  left  but  a  dead  carcass.  It  may  be  some  are  sincerV 
and  the  work  of  Crod's  Spirit  is  set  back,  your  lamps  are  out, 
your  watchful  minds,  and  tender  hearts,  and  earnest  pursuit  after 
the  Lord  is  gone.  0,  then,  consider  what  little  cause  you  have 
to  boast  in  means.  Men  that  have  no  part  in  ships  look  for  no 
gain ;  but  if  you  have  any  part  in  the  blessing  of  ordinances,  rest 
not  without  it. 

lite  3.  Hence  see  what  need  you  Imve  of  a  mighty  and  un~ 
resistible  power  of  the  Lord's  grace  and  Spirit,  to  carry  you  lo 


I 


n  end  in  your  Christian  coarse,  if  erer  yon  corae  to  life.  For 
il  liTpocrisy  discovers  itself  in  an  ineffV.'ctual  use  of  means,  then 
!m  will  find  all  the  powers  of  darknt^ss  resisting  and  seeking  to 
<arpri»e  yoa  here.  That  as  it  id  with  thieves,  you  shall  not  see 
oor  find  Uiem  lying  in  the  city,  it  is  in  vain  there  to  offer  any 
tiolenee,  but  in  the  wayj  so  Satan  can  not  step  unto  the  gates 
nf  heaven,  to  keep  you  from  thence,  and  hence  all  his  power  and 
|Mh'cr  lies  in  the  way  of  means,  to  keep  you  from  thence.  And 
Jience  look  upon  the  best  man,  how  many  Linderancea  lo  prayer 
smneliines  ;  though  he  has  tasted  the  sweet  of  it,  he  had  rather 
die  than  pray.  How  soon  are  the  thoughts  turned  from  God ! 
"Vhen  we  come  to  draw  nigh  to  God,  how  unable  to  wake  one 
tiour !  That  if  it  were  not  the  invincible  strength  of  a  Giod  that 
did  support  them  (1  Pet.  t.  5)  they  could  never  go  on.  Tell  me, 
jou  poor  crealnrca,  that  never  were  effectually  carried  to  your 
«ud  by  meang,  do  you  not  oft  find  checks  for  eln,  desires  agniii^-t 
it,  Christ  and  mercy  weeping  at  your  knees,  melting  over  you, 
wad  your  hearts  almost  persuaded?  Do  you  not  find  a  want  of 
Christ,  and  grace,  and  Spirit,  and  promises,  and  you  hope  it  will 
Ik  belter?  Du  you  not  find  some  niovings  toward  the  Lord, 
but  yet  withal  do  you  not  find  a  dead,  slothful  heart,  slays  you 
i^ain?  The  veriest  reprobate  in  the  world  may  have  as  good 
ma  BMurance  of  heaven  as  thou  ;  there  may  be  in  hell  that  once 
■ppesred  better  than  thee.  And  who  can  mend  this  ?  long,  long 
It  bta  been  thus.  O,  then  feel  a  need  of  the  Lord's  irresistible 
power.  Thou  indeed  hast  an  end ;  but  say,  Lord,  thou  must 
cHTy  me  like  a  lost  sheep  on  thy  shoulders  to  that  end  !  "Seek 
the  Lord  and  his  strength,  seek  his  face  evermore ;"  in  all  means, 
■t  ail  times,  but  seek  his  strength  then  ;  (Col.  i.  20.)  "  I  labor 
tlios,  Klriving  according  to  his  working,  which  works  in  mo 
miglujly ; "  and  so  I  strive.  O,  see  need  of  this.  Many  of  you 
ttmke  work  with  yuur  own  hearts,  and  strive,  and  endeavor,  and 
jet  can  not  stir.  O,  look  then  for  this  mighty  working,  and  feel 
ft  need  of  it 

Section  IV. 
Vie  4.  Of  Trial.  Hence  judge  what  your  stales  are  tins  day 
before  the  LonL  I  know  and  believe  tliat  you  prize,  pray  for, 
lung  fur  the  end.  and  if  ever  the  Lord  saves  and  pardons  you, 
jcn  thall  have  cause  to  bless  him.  You  may  do  as  has  been 
•aid,  but  never  find  a  heart  given  you  by  the  invincible  wrcs- 
tli&gi  of  a  God  to  use  and  improve  all  means  to  that  end  ;  and 
tlius  yonr  practice  in  the  habitual  neglect  of  means  is  n  clciir 
wai  tnanif^  witness,  like  the  day,  against  you,  that  you  do  not 


i 


I 


S4f  Tni^  rAT!\GLE  or 

desire  sincerely  the  end  (as  70U  tliink)  in  having  so  little  respect 
to  tlie  means  lliat  eonilui-e  lliereunlo.  Did  jou  ever  see  that 
man  that  did  indeed  desire  life,  but  he  icould  use  alt  meao^,  wUb, 
aad  friends ;  nay,  cut  off  his  limbs  to  preserve  il  ?  But,  boi 
ever,  put  that  name  upon  it,  say  you  do  deaire  and  prize  the 
yet  if  the  Lord  leaves  you,  or  you  forsake  the  Lord  in  a  negled] 
of  means  that  lead  thereto,  and  that  elfcelually  ;  nhat  you  mtf^ 
he,  aud  what  the  Lord  mfty  do,  I  know  not,  liui  to  this  day  your 
estate  is  no  better  Ihan  a  painted  salvation  and  pictured  hypoc- 
risy before  the  Lord.  That  stone  at  which  the  closest  bypocritea 
have  stumbled,  that  rock  on  which  the  beat  hypocrite  has  been 
broken,  tliou  art  fallen  upon  tliat  enemy  of  sloth  which  has  car- 
ried king;s  (men  that  have  worn  the  crown  of  profession  in  the 
world)  miserable  captives  (notwithstanding  their  lamentable  cries, 
Lord,  save  us  !)  to  hell ;  the  same  enemy  has  already  bound  theo 
up  in  chains,  and  what  will  become  of  thee,  it  is  only  known  in 
his  breast,  that  by  the  voice  of  his  trump  con  awaken  the  dead, 
fand  break  the  bonds  of  sloth  and  death  itself.  But  yoit  will  say, 
there  are  no  virgins  among  us  that  neglect  to  take  their  oil,  that 
BO  far  forget  themselves  as  to  neglect  the  means,  that  are  conn 
so  many  thousand  miles  for  means  ;  there  is  not  a  day  but  some 
line  is  drawn,  not  a  sermon.  Sabbath,  but  some  good  got,  or  else 
they  think  themselves  half  undone,  not  a  prayer  bat  one  step 
nearer  to  glory  ;  the  day  is  not  long  enough,  and  therefore  the 
nights  are  spent  in  wrestlings  with  the  angel ;  nay,  in  prevailing 
with  God  for  tliemselvos  and  churches,  and  blessing  on  both ; 
Sabbaths  are  the  daybreaks  of  heaven,  the  fellowship  of  saints 
better  than  to  stand  before  kings  ;  the  fellowship  of  Christ  in 
heaven  so  sweet,  that  in  seeking  of  him  men  forget  themselves, 
nay,  to  eat  their  bread;  tliat  if  the  T^rd  should  have  let  out  the 
vineyanl  of  ordinances  lo  any  busbandmen  in  the  norld,  who 
could  or  would  have  taken  more  pains  lo  dig  it.  to  dress  il,  than 
f  we  do?  Beloved,  those  enlargements  that  are  in  any  afler  the 
•  Lord,  the  Lord  cherish  and  increase  ihera  ;  but  I  fear  we  may 
tgo  live  times  about  the  tree  before  we  see  such  laden  boughs.  I 
am  much  mistaken  if  the  best  may  not  be  discovered  here ;  the 
fairest  flowers  in  the  fiehl  must  wither,  they  can  not  last,  and  the 
best  affections  that  are  but  temporary,  that  have  acted  men 
mightily  for  a  lime  in  the  use  of  means,  must  perish  in  the  neg- 
lect of  means  at  last.  I  shall  not,  therefore,  meddle  with  prcK 
fane  or  carnal  gospelers,  so  much  ns  witli  close  deceivers  of  their 


n  souls  ;  and  look,  t 


n  all  B 


the  SI 


s  by  the  lappings,  so  you  may  k 


negWis  means  by  his  shifts.     Kor,  if  you  ■  liserve,  1 


sluggard  t 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  247 

many  shifls  and  colors  for  it  as  this./  Saul,  when  he  had  not  J 
gone  through-stitch  with  the  Lord's  work  in  slaying  the  Amal- 
ekites,  what  ado  had  Samuel  to  convince  him  !     He  tells  a  lie, 
lajs  the  blame  on  the  people,  propounds  the  good  end  and  affeo- 
tioo  he  had.     So  here,  thus  it  is  with  many,  as,  viz.,  — 

I.  Those  that  live  in  a  secret  neglect  of  means,  and  yet  hope 
to  oome  to  their  end,  because  of  their  desires.     We  shall  find 
the  Scripture  gives  us  two  sorts  of  desires.     1.  Of  the  righteous. 
t  Of  the  sluggard.    1.  "  The  desires  of  the  righteous,"  (Prov.  x. 
2i)  **  shall  be  granted,"  being  breathings  of  God's  eternal  Spirit, 
not  a  sigh  or  groan  unanswered.     2.  Of  the  sluggard  ;  (Prov. 
xxi.  15,)  ^^  The  desire  of  the  slothful  kills  him,  for  his  hands 
refuse  to  labor ; "  the  desires  of  the  righteous  are  ever  spurs  to 
quicken  them  up  in  the  use  of  means  mightily ;  the  desires  of 
the  sluggard  bridle  him  up,  they  bind  his  hands,  and  fetter  his 
feet,  that  he  can  not  but  neglect  means.     Some  desires  there  be 
that  arise  from  the  need  of  a  good,  and  here  will  not  only  be 
desires,  but  all  means  used,  as  in  point  of  famine ;  some  only 
from  want  of  a  good,  and  here  a  man  usually  contents  himself 
With  bare  desires,  never  has  a  heart  to  use  the  means  mightily 
for  that  end.     Many  a  one  is  convinced  his  state  is  miserable, 
and  fears  it,  and  Baalam-like  sees  the  blessedness  of  the  people 
of  Crod,  and  knows  he  wants  pardon,  and  life,  and  peace,  and 
promises,  and  Christ,  and  desires  it :  O  that  I  might  die  their 
death  !     O  that  I  might  live  and  drink  that  water,  that  I  might 
thirst  no  more !     O  that  my  sins  were  pardoned !     O  that  my 
heart  was  humbled  !     But  what  if  the  Lord  grant  them  no  peace 
nor  pardon?      Do  they  make  earnest  inquiry  after  the  Lord 
Christ,  with  restless  pursuits  and  groans  because  they  need  it  ?  is 
it  worth  that  ?     O,  no  ;  but  yet  they  hope  Grod  will  be  so  merci- 
ful as  to  accept  their  desires ;  and  so  they  rest,  and  live  and  die 
in  that  rest.     O,  poor  creatures,  your  desires  kill  you ;  as  a  man 
L>  undone  with  slothful  servants  that  can  not  earn  their  own,  much 
le.*s  get  their  master's  bread.     And  many  in  hell  say,  I  had 
thought  my  desires  would  have  carried  me  to  glory,  but  now  I 
see  they  have  been  slothful,  and  here  I  must  perish  and  famish 
forever.     Had  I  known  of  this,  I  would  rather  have  wept  out 
my  eyes,  and  filled  the  world  with  my  sorrowful  complaints.     My 
meditations  of  the  Lord  should  have  been  at  midnight.     I  would 
have  deceived  my  eyes  of  sleep  at  night,  and  deprived  myself 
of  bread  at  day,  and  lost  my  limbs,  had  I  but  known  that  by 
contenting  myself  with  these  desires,  I  should  have  lost  my  life. 
Here  many  Christians  are  falsely  bottomed ;  they  are  troubled 
about  their  estate ;    come  to  some  or  other  and  profess  their 


r 


I 


I 


S4B  T 

desires  are  after  Chriet  and  grace,  etc,  and  ihen  «>mforted  (as  in 
sinking  fila  a  man  snati^lieth  at  any  ting  or  twig)  with  tliem 
desires,  before  tbey  Lave  foLloweil  the  Lord  in  the  use  of  all 
means  to  get  tbe  thing  they  desire.  And  here  is  the  Brat  l>e- 
ginning  of  the  Lord's  forsaking  of  Ihem,  and  theira  of  tlie  Lord, 
and  he  is  left  alone  only  with  his  de^res,  that  if  any  duty  be 
neglected,  desires  comfort  him ;  if  grace  resisted,  desires  quiet 
him ;  if  sin  keeping  him  captive,  desires  fill  him.  Luke  xiii.  24. 
And  so  like  a  bird  that  lies  in  the  nest,  but  ils  wings  never 
grow,  there  it  perisheih.  I  know  saints  may  comfort  themselTes 
with  desires  before  the  things  be  given,  because  promised,  but 
you  shall  see  an  endless  reach  in  them  in  the  uae  of  all  means. 
Fhil.  iii.  13.  Others  think  their  negleel  of  means  to  be  but  an 
infirmity,  and  tliat  iheir  desires  will  serve,  and  hence  abuse  that 
Scripture,  Rom.  vii. 

2.  They  that  neglect  the  means,  and  yet  hope  to  come  to  their 
end,  because  of  worldly  clogs  and  incurobmn<:es  here ;  for  this 
is  the  YCry  spirit  of  many  a  man.  If  God  keeps  (he  bouse 
from  being  burnt,  and  family  from  b^ng  sick,  it  may  be  family 
prayer  is  neglected ;  if  not  that,  yet  secret  is  omitted ;  if  not 
that,  yet  meditation  ;  a  man  can  get  no  head,  nor  heart,  nor  lime 
for  it.  If  any  good  is  got,  it  is  lost  again.  Sabbiiths  spent  and 
[no'good  gained.  A  man  knows  bis  soul  lies  wusie  and  common 
I  without  any  fence  or  watch,  and  that  he  would  not  let  his  fields 
as  he  doth  his  heart,  overgrown  with  cares,  and  lusts,  and  vain 
thougliL  Now,  many  a  man,  though  be  doth  dislike  this,  yet 
lives  in  tliis.  Why  ?  Is  this  your  home  ?  Are  these  tilings  your 
portion?  No;  but  yet  thinks  ho  may  with  a  safe  conscieiicc 
continue  thus,  and  God  forgive  him  too.  Why,  the  family  is 
great,  children  increase  upoti  me,  (and  they  are  so  busy  and 
long  a  dressing  on  the  Lord's  day,  that  scrroon  b  out  before  they 
come.)  and  we  are  not  called  to  book  it  all  day  as  ministers  can, 
and  worldly  employments  are  so  many,  and  the  best  are  entao- 
Igled  here;  and  they  think  lliis  is  an  excuse.  Luke  xiv.  18,  19</, 
T^ay,  many  a  one,  convinced  of  this,  yet  lives  in  this  against  tl 
light  of  conviction,  hoping  ttiut  one  day  the  stream  of  world] 
occasions  will  be  run  by.  I  confess,  as  the  I^ord  has  givE 
his  ordinances  to  seek  him  in,  so  he  baa  appointed  our  calling| 
to  walk  with  him  iu.  Adam  in  paradise  must  not  be  idle,  bat 
look  to  the  garden  ;  and  in  ibis  land  those  that  will  be  good  hiiftfl 
bands  for  God  (lest  they  discredit  theu-  profession  by  bringi 
themselves  to  a  piei'e  of  bread)  must  be  good  husbands  for  theni^S 
selves.  liut  here  is  tliat  which  stings,  when  to  worldly  employ* 
menta  men  are  serrants,  not  lords  Uf  them.     When  n 


ribM 


TUE   TEN   VIRGINS.  249 

Bake  their  occasions  bow  down  to  them,  and  serve  them,  that 
tbej  maj  serve  and  seek  a  god ;  but  they  bow  down  their  knees, 
aaj,  basely,  their  backs,  under  the  feet  of  any  mean  employ- 
ment that  must  be  followed  with  neglect  of  God.  Do  not  say, 
WIk)  is  not  entangled  here  ?  I  tell  you,  if  Christ's  prayer  can 
jwevail,  some  are  not ;  (John  xvii.  15,)  '^  I  pray  not  that  thou 
tooldst  take  them  out  of  the  world,  but  keep  them  from  the 
eviL"  If  blood  can  prevail,  it  does.  Gal.  i.  4.  O,  look  to  this ; 
it  may  be  some  of  you  do  not  only  neglect  the  Lord,  all  dies 
ftgain ;  O,  it  is  the  world ;  know  your  estates  by  this. 

d.  Those  that  depart  from  God  in  the  neglect  of  means,  be- 
cause they  find  no  good,  and  do  not  feel  themselves  a  whit  the 
better  for  them ;  they  neglect  this  trade,  because  they  find  it  a 
painless  trade  ;  for  thus  God  executes  his  eternal  rejection  upon 
tuany  a  souL  As  it  is  with  Saul,  it  was  one  of  the  last  vials 
Crod  poured  out  upon  him ;  (1  Sam.  xxviii.  5, 6, 15,)  saith  he,  '*  I 
^m  sore  distressed,  and  the  Lord  answers  me  not  by  Urim  nor 
"Thummim,  and  therefore  am  I  come  to  thee ; "  let  a  devil  com- 
fort me  if  God  will  not.  So  many  a  soul,  having  conmiitted 
some  sin  that  lies  glowing  on  the  conscience,  is  sore  troubled, 
and  first  it  goes  to  the  Lord,  and  the  Lord  answers  not,  there  is 
silence  in  heaven,  and  all  means,  but  the  noise  of  fears  within ; 
now,  at  last,  the  soul  does  not  forsake  the  Lord  for  Satan  plainly, 
but  what  means  can  comfort  them  that  they  seek  for,  and  in 
time  a  man  is  weary  of  waiting  at  Grod's  gates,  and  hence  a  form 
of  duties,  and  prayers,  and  custom  of  devotion  is  kept  to  quiet  the 
cooscience ;  but  they  are  not  restless  for  the  gain  of  them,  for 
the  Lord  in  them  ;  they  think  that  it  is  in  vain,  to  no  profit,  as 
those  in  I^IaL  iii.  14,  to  walk  mournfully.  Jonah  was  cast  out 
of  God's  sight,  yet  through  "  the  belly  of  a  whale  he  would  look 
toward  the  temple."  So  it  is  with  the  people  of  God ;  though 
they  sometimes  conclude  thus,  and  think  not  to  seek  any  more, 
yet  their  hearts  have  tasted  the  good,  their  faith  believes  there 
is  that  hid  in  the  Lord  in  his  temple  that  it  never  saw  yet ;  hence 
they  look  still.  What  made  the  man  (Matt,  xxv.)  hide  his 
talent  in  the  earth  ?  I  thought  thou  wast  a  hard  master,  and 
lookedst  for  so  much  gtun,  and  I  could  not  get  it,  and  hence  he  hid 
his  talent.  Hence  men  keep  the  means  without  use  of  the  means, 
and  some  that  have  for  a  time  been  used  to  do  so  keep  it  as  their 
custom,  without  making  any  such  work  of  it  as  to  gain  the  end 
of  the  means. 

4.  Those  that  do  neglect  the  Lord  in  means  by  an  effectual 
pursuit  of  them,  because  of  some  sips  and  taste  of  some  good  in 
them ;  and  so  methinks  it  is  in  this  case  as  it  is  in  some  countries. 


SM  Tij 

where,  if  a  man  comes  lo  t)i«^ir  houses  in  ihe  afternoon,  and 
have  a  mind  to  part,  yet  loth  to  part  without  sliowing 
nesd,  and  the  other  without  tasting  of  it,  Ihej  lay  their 
napkin,  and  ftiiding  that  refreshing  there  Ihey  are  conten 
their  supper.  So  it  ia  here ;  a  man  comes  weary  to  the  Lord's 
bouse,  U)  his  ordinances;  the  Lord  will  not  let  him  go  without 
some  expression  of  kindness,  nor  they  depart  willingly  from  the 
Lord  without  it,  and  hence  the  Lord  gives  them  light  out  of  dark- 
ness, joy  out  of  sorrow,  peace  out  of  trouble,  a  taste  of  his  sweet- 
ness after  tastes  of  sin's  bitterness,  and  then  they  take  iheir 
leave,  as  they.  Heb.  vi.  2-5.  And  here  the  Lord  leaves  many 
a  poor  creature,  (Deut.  xxis..  2—4 ;)  they  did  see  something  and 
taste  something,  and  there  they  rested.  O,  but  the  Lord  giTe4 
them  not  eyes  to  see,  etc.  For  no  hyj>oerite  living  ia  fully 
emptied  of  his  lusts,  hut  has  somewliat  to  fill  him ;  but  some 
emptiness  he  may  have,  hence  may  have  some  desires  after  the 
Lord,  and  hence  it  is  not  the  fullness  of  God  only  that  satisfies 
him,  but  some  tastes  of  Giod's  kindness,  and  small  things  do  and 
must  fill  him.  His  lusts  fill  him  in  part,  and  something  of  God  ia 
wanting,  and  that  some  little  matter  doth  make  up.  Hence, 
when  thifl  is  done,  means  is  neglected  feartully,  a  man's  heart  is 
hardened  and  ignorant,  a  little  light  and  sorrow  stays  him,  as  the 
Btony  ground,  though  there  he  a  stone  at  bottom ;  a  mau  is  full  of 
doubts,  and  a  little  hope  which  frees  blm  from  fears  quiets  him, 
hence  he  never  conquers  imbellef.  A  mim  has  lived  a  loost 
course,  a  little  resolution  of  heart  stays  him,  though  the 
will  depart  again,  as  those,  Deut.  v.  27,  29.  The  Lord  has  bi 
little  of  their  hearts,  and  the  Lord  shows  them  but  little  of  hi 
And  hence  this  is  usual  to  see  a  false  heart  most  diligent 
ing  the  Lord  when  he  has  been  worst,  and  most  careless  when 
is  best  Hence  many  at  first  conversion  sought  the  Lord  t 
nestly,  afterward  affections  and  endeavors  die,  that  now  they 
as  good  OS  the  word  can  make  them  1  Hence  the  Lord,  when  li 
mercy  he  deals  with  men,  keeps  them  long  fasting,  till  the 
of  extremity  comes,  and  then  he  pours  waters  on  the  thirs^ 
Hence  better  for  those  never  to  have  known.  2  Pet.ii.  21.  Ani 
a  hypocrite's  lost  end  is  to  satisfy  himself,  hence  he  has  enoug^^ 
a  saint's  is  to  satisfy  Christ,  hence  he  never  has  enough. 

5.  Those  that  do  neglect  the  Lord  under  this  color  of  receivii^ 
Christ ;  Ihey  can  do  nothing  themselves,  and  Christ  must  do  att 
(Uid  hence  neglect  the  Lord  secretly,  and  sometimes  <juarrel  wid 
the  ministry  privately,  when  pressed  to  a  duty  or  to  betiei 
Alas  I  what  can  a  man  do,  when  all  the  ministers  in  the  woi 
have  preached  their  hearts  out  ?    At  lost  they  must  hiing  us 


THE   TEN   VIKGINB. 

Christ.  What  elae  should  the  apaatJe  mean,  (Rom.  iv.  5,)  "Not 
lo  him  that  workcth,  but  believeth.  is  faith  accounted  for  right- 
eousness. I  musl  not  live,  I  must  let  Christ  live,"  etc.  ?  And 
hence,  say  they,  the  cause  of  perishing  is  not  men's  willn,  but 
God's.  He  elects  not ;  he  gives  no  heart.  Such  hypocrites  the 
Lord  prophesies  of;  (Matt.  vii.  21,)  "Many  that  say  to  me, 
Lord,  Lord ; "  i>  e.,  that  advance  the  Lord  Jesue,  and  live  in 
ncjtlect  of  all  duties,  and  bring  the  Lord  of  glory,  not  from  his 
throne  in  heaven  tOv^ll,  but,  which  is  worse,  debase  him  from 
his  glory  to  sin,  to  In  ml  i  iifiii  iif  mi,  njjil  protector  of  it  Be-~| 
loved,  I  know  no  surer  sign  of  a  vesseTthat-^God  intends  to  I 
break  in  pieces  than  (his,  to  live  in  this  neglect)  2  Tim.  ii.  20.  | 
Nay.  it  is  an  evidence  there  is  no  hope,  no  living  hope;  (1  Jotm 
iii.  3,)  "  He  that  has  this  hope  purgelh  himself  as.  Christ  is 
pure."  Many,  it  seems,  boasted  of  hope  in  Christ ;  so  do 
saints,  but  he  gives  this  note,  he  purgetli  himself,  he  will  not 
sluggishly  put  all  on  Christ.  It  is  true,  it  is  the  mighty  working 
of  Christ  that  must  conquer  thy  lusts  ;  but  must  this  put  you  to 
neglect  striving?  (Col.  i.  29,)  "  I  strive  according  to  the  work- 
ing." And,  for  my  part,  though  I  will  not  dispute  the  point  at 
large,  I  believe  there  ia  a  constant  assistance  of  the  mighty 
power  of  the  Lord  Jesus  in  the  souls  of  all  the  saints.  1  Pet.  i.  5. 
And  hence,  (1  John  vi.,)  "  Greater  is  he  that  is  in  you  than  in 
the  world."  The  siunts  as  they  receive  the  Lord  Jesua  to  rule 
(hem,  that  he  alone  may  be  Lord  and  King,  not  only  in  heaven, 
but  in  their  hearts:  so  a  false  heart  receives  Christ,  lastly,  for 
lo  ease  him.  Sometime  for  to  ease  liim  of  the  burden  of  con- 
Bcionco ;  sometime  to  ease  him  of  the  Lord's  word,  the  burden 
of  his  will ;  and  hence  some  at  last  have  complained,  though 
liordly  convinced  of  il,  that  they  could  be  contented  the  Lord 
Ehould  act  tliem;  but  their  end  wa^  tliat  thereby  they  might  be 
rid  of  their  burden,  and  so  eased  by  him.  I  have  heard  a  ques- 
tion should  be  asked,  What  is  the  ditlerence  between  the  work- 
ing of  God's  Spirit  and  the  saints?  And  that  the  answer  was, 
1.  The  one  was  by  graces,  the  other  imracdiateiy.  2.  The 
Spirit  is  when  a  man  labors  leasL  Quite  cross  to  the  stream 
of  truth.  Take  heed  how  you  understand  these  points  aright ; 
the  depth  of  the  most  hellish  villanyin  the  world  lies  under 
them.  Woe  to  thee  that  canst  paint  such  a  Christ  in  thy  head, 
and  receive  such  a  Christ  into  thy  heart,  as  must  be  a  pander  lo 
your  sloih ;  the  Lord  wiL  revenge  this  wrong  done  lo  hiji  glory 
with  greater  sorrows  than  ever  ajiy  felt.  To  make  Christ  not 
only  meal  and  drink  lo  feed,  but  clothes  lo  cover  your  sloth. 
Why,  what  can  we  do?  what  can  we  do?    Why,  as  the  first 


4 


I 


THE  PARABLE   C 


Adam  conveys  not  only  guilt,  but  power,  bo  the  seeond 
both  righteousness  and  strength ;  as  Christ  b  now  triumphing 
by  his  eternal  Spirit,  and  his  lil'e  is  heavenly,  so  if  you  be  in 
Christ,  there  is  a  Spirit  of  Christ,  whereby  a  never-dying  life  h 
begot,  that  can  and  does  conquer ;  though  it  be  but  a  spark, 
Christ  mainlaining  it,  it  shall  come  to  viilory.  You  are  Cor- 
saken  of  Christ,  if  you  want  this ;  or  else  take  beed  this  color 
make  you  not  forsake  him. 

6.  Those  that  neglect  the  means,  and  yet  look  for  the  end 
hope  of  future  time,  and  so  neglect  the  present  season.  Thus 
is  with  many  a  one  i  the  day  of  life  and  health,  and  day  of  or& 
nances,  continues,  and  bence  the  sluggard  cries,  (Prov.  xxiv.  33,) 
"  Tet  a  little  more  slumber,"  I  will  have  but  a  little  while  longer, 
etc  Hence,  when  conscience  checks,  ministers  warn,  the  Ixird 
wooes,  the  Spirit  cries  ;  a  man  puts  off  all  with  this,  I  hope  it  will 
be  better ;  and  hence  it  falls  out  with  them  as  with  those,  (Mail, 
xxiv.,)  "  The  Lord  comes  in  a  time  they  look  not  for  him,"  and 
of  this  many  on  their  death  bed^  have  cried  out  Think  of  this 
ye  convicted  persona,  that  know  it  is  miserable  with  you,  before 
God  sloj)  your  breath;  you  have  nothing  to  plend  for  your  neg- 
lect, but  hope  of  time.  Know  it,  God's  present  seasons  are 
golden,  one  moment  worth  eternity,  and  now  is  the  time  ;  if  yon 
neglect  his  season,  he  will  not  regard  yours.  God  is  never  found 
in  your  time,  but  in  his  time.  O,  lay  these  things  to  heart,  es- 
pecially you  that  are  grown  weary  of  means,  that  fiuut  in  your 
way.  Gid  is  not  yet  weary  of  continuing  means ;  art  thou  weary 
of  gaining  by  means  ?  O,  consider  [his,  you  that  have  had  many 
bogies,  desires,  parposes,  but  all  blasted,  your  time  and  meant 
neglected.  Think  on  this,  you  that  have  liad  marvelous  affec- 
tions, but  your  spirits  are  gone ;  nothing  can  make  you  mend 
your  pace,  not  all  ministry  and  word,  but  you  are  clogged  with 
means.  Remember  that,  (Is.  Ixv.  8-14,)  "  For  my  people  that 
have  sought  me,"  etc. 

Section  V. 

lTie5.  To  all  those  that  do  effectually  seek  the  Lord  in  the 
use  of  means.     And  for  discovery  (hereof,  consider, — 

1.  If  ever  the  Lord  gave  you  a  heart  effectually  to  seek  hia  •} 
in  means,  you  will  find  mighty  0|)poBttions,  temptations  _  _ 
up  one  after  another,  etc.,  from  within,  from  without,  and  the^ 
positions  will  make  you  seek  him  the  more.  Hence  (Uom 
11,  12)  he  bids  us  "pnt  off  the  works  of  darkness,  and  put  on 
the  armor  of  light."  When  a  nun  desires  and  lies  in  bis  sloth, 
he  meets  with  little  opposition  or  trouble  of  his  own  heart ;  bat 


THE  TEN    VlltGlKS.  253 

I  it  is  otherwise,  therefore  put  on  omior.  And  I  say,  the 
•Dul  is  made  hereby  (o  seek  the  Lord  ihe  more,  as  the  blind  man. 
Huk  X.  48.  "-  Redeem  the  time,  becAUse  the  days  are  evil." 
Ai  it  is  with  mariners  ;  tbey  will  not  only  use  fdr,  but  side,  and 
tfaooet  coDtrary  winds  to  come  neur  the  shore  ihey  arc  bound 
ibr;  \el  the  Lord  give  any  gr&ce,  O,  more  of  that  mercy,  as 
Uoces.  Deut.  iii,  24.  Let  the  Lord  deny,  yet  the  soul  cries  the 
ttofe;  let  agonies  come,  Christ  pmys  the  more  ;  let  the  will  op- 

Si,  be  will  yield  himself  to  the  Lord  to  cross  his  own  will,  and 
J  hnnself;  peace  makes  him  love,  and  aiBiclion  makes  him 
MK  the  Lord  earlj.  Hence,  because  thou  art  troubled  at  the 
fwUng  of  &  slothful  heart,  that  will  mnke  you  seek  for  more 

i-  Tou  will  seek  him  with  your  whole  heart,  so  that  it  is  the 

Lord  only  that  ihe  heart  is  bound  for.  Pa.  exix.  2  ;  Phil.  iii.  12. 

The  feeling  of  the  Lord's  power  and  eternal  life,  and  that  not 

'^j  while  means  last,  but  when  in  want  of  and  banished  from 

"Wins  !  as  David  forgela  his  crown  and  kingdom,  and  sailh,  (Ph. 

Inii.  4,)  "  One  thing  I  bare  desired."     Hence  Hezekiah  had 

tpnimise  of  life  and  going  to  God's  house  when  recovered  ;  it 

m  not  life  he  minded  so  much  as  this,  "  What  is  the  sign  tliat 

I  ihMll  go  to  the  bouse  of  the  Lord  ?  "     Hence  saints,  though 

ihey  Delect  sometimes,  yet  as  a  ^hip  driven  hack  by  neglecting 

I     «umU,  or  as  a  tradesman,  he  is  altogether  tor  his  g^n,  yet  proves  - 

I     in  ill  husband  sometimes,  but  when  be  has  felt  his  losses  he  falls 

I     lo  Uis  trade  again.     So  here,  like  merchants  seeking  pearls,  etc 

f     JUatL  xiii.  4a.     Let  this  comfort  you  though  you  find  nothing, 

ycl  Miints  are  a  generation  of  seekers,  linding  time  is  not  come, 

jKt  certainly  yon  shall  come  to  your  end  at  last.     Tou  have  no 

lappings  for  the  sores  of  your  sloth,  but  opening  them  before  the 

'     Lcinl :  the  Lord  will  heal  and  help  in  time. 

Obftel.  But  I  feel  no  good,  hence  I  am  afraid  I  seek  not  aright. 
Atu.  Gal.  yi.  9,  "You  shall  reap  in  due  time,"  and  Heb.  xi, 
13.     All  things  were  cross  to  Ihe  promise,  yet  Abraham  holds 
on  still. 

Ob/tct.  But  I  find  my  spirit  faint,  and  grow  listless  and  weary. 
Amt.  When  heart  and  strength  fail,  yet  God  does  not.     God 
will  desert,  that  you  may  know  where  your  strength,  and  heart, 
'     toi  help  liet. 

0^'«cf.  Bat  it  is  so  great,  I  know  no  diiference  between  mine 
uul  others'  neglect. 

jitu.  That  is  sad ;  yet,  as  it  is  ui  all  sins,  falls  into  them  do  but 

nndenaine  them  the  more.     Peter  denies  Christ,  ad  well  as  slcep«i 

yet  he  i»  thefir«L  that  preocheth  him.     When  a  man's  meat  is  so 

VOL.  II.  22 


i 


I 


»4 

far  from  doing  good  aa  that  it  does  him  hurt,  he  is  dying :  bo  U 
Bin  is  dying,  that  alotb  is  dying,  when  food  given  to  it  does  \ 
it.  David  ia  ready  to  give  up  all,  yet  saitb,  "It  b  good  for  ni 
to  draw  near  to  God,"  and  there  the  heart  will  repose  itself  agtun.  1 

Section  VI. 

Uie  G.  0/  Exhort.  0,  be  not  slothful,  then  ;  neglect  n 
but  use  all  means ;  get  oil  in  your  vessels,  that  you  may  get  joat 
desired  end.  Mariners  that  are  bound  for  a  voyage,  when  »et 
out,  will  not  be  at  rest  till  they  are  landed  where  they  would  be. 
It  was  one  of  the  church's  aorrowful  complaints,  (Is,  Ixiv.  7,) 
"  None  that  atirs  up  himself,"  etc. 

Objeei.  But  I  find  many  hiadcrancea  without  me,  many  sins 
within  me ;  I  have  sometime  neither  strength  (nay,  which  is 
worse)  nor  yet  heart  to  seek  the  Lord,  though  my  wants  are 
many,  though  my  days  decline.     How  shall  Z  do? 

Am.  1.  Find  out  that  which  clogs  thy  heart  from  seeking  ef- 
fectually, and  causes  that  neglect,  and  that  makes  the  Lord  n^-  - 
lect  thee  in  thy  ineffectual  seeking ;  else  thou  mayst  seek  aa^. 
never  find,  and  that  is  some  lust,  something  that  eases  the  hearts! 
which  is  not  Grod.  When  the  soul  has  not  bread,  it  will,  witk 
the  prodigal,  then  resolve  for  home.  Meo  could  not  live  ai 
do,  so  many  days  without  God,  unless  they  did  feed  ou  som' 
else  beside  the  Lord.  Heuco  it  is  usual  for  men  in  means  to  niv 
means  for  a  good,  and  out  of  means  to  resist  that  good,  b,!, 
Iviii.  1,  2 ;  Zaeh.  vii.  6.  Men  that  would  have  their  Icrad  drawi 
must  first  take  their  wild  horses  out  of  it ;  so  do  with  these  luetb. 
If,  therefore,  not  for  your  own,  yet  for  the  Lord's  sake,  who  d 
will  not  be  accounted  worth  the  seeking,  find  out  whatever  cooj 
I    tenta  you.     Necessity  has  no  hotidavB ;  0,  you  muat  have  h' 

2.  Use  mums,  but  trust  not  to  tliein^  nor  to  any  strengt' 


ceivad  to  carry  you  along  in  this  work  ;  you  will  else  negle<4 
and  r'l  from  the  Lord,  and  the  Lord  from  you.     It  is  said  at: 
Ata,  (2  Chron.  xvi.  12, 13,)  "Asa  was  diseased  in  hia  feet  in  h 
old  f  ^3,  yet  he  sought  not  to  the  Lord,  but  physicians."     So  it 
with  many  a  diseased  Christian ;  they  seek  not  lo  the  Lord  ' 
cure  their  feet,  but  means,  or  themselves ;  hence  thoy  decay  at 
die.     You  have  the  stream  of  all  templalioos  against  yon  i  it 
not  your  own  oars,  but  the   Lord's  wind,  that  must  cany  yi 
against  it     Look,  therefore,  to  an  almighty  power  in  means 
help  you,  plead  God's  covenant  lo  put  his  fear  into  your  he 
that  you  may  not  depart  from  him,  aud  he  will  not  forsake  _ 
1  Cor.  XV.  10,  "  Paul  received  not  grace  in  vain,  but  Inl 


THE  TEN  vinoma.  255 

"Wdimdy ;  yet  not  I,  bat  grace."  There  is  little  fear  of  drown- 
^  so  long  as  ne  keep  head  above  water,  so  long  as  we  cleave  to 
Ibe  Lord  Jesus. 

3.  Love  the  presence  of  the  Lord  and  his  company.  If  there 
be  any  love  between  you,  you  will  then  find  time,  and  nothing 
■ball  keep  you  from  him  :  (Jer.ii.  1-3.)  "  I  rememher  the  love  of 
thine  espousals,  when  thou  followedat  me  in  a  wilderness  through 
pits  and  deserts."  Remember  he  has  been  in  heaven,  praying 
for  thee  when  ihou  hast  been  provoking  of  him ;  he  has  been 
bleising  thee,  when  thou  host  been  abusing  him ;  it  may  be  he 
has  let  out  his  heart  blood,  to  make  room  for  thee  in  his  heart; 
it  may  be  he  intends,  throughout  all  eternity,  lo  express  hia  dear- 
est love  to  thee;  and  is  he  not  worth  your  love?  Love  hitn, 
and  you  will  be  with  him ;  love  will  be  stronger  than  death ;  it 
will  break  all  these  bonds. 

4.  Set  before  you  the  greatness  of  the  good  you  are  to  nse  aD 
tueans  to  gain.  Why  do  men  hunt  after  flesh  pots  ?  The  world 
is  esteemed  great ;  it  is  near  ua  ;  and  so  for  honor.  Now,  Christ 
and  eternity  are  far  off,  and  henee  ihey  seem  little,  and  hence  to 
seek  them  is  not  made  a  business  of  greatest  weight  and  imp<w- 
Vaux.  2  Cor.  iv.  16,  18.  "  We  faint  not  while  we  look  to  thinga 
that  are  eternal"  Acts  xxiv.  15,  16.  There  is  not  the  vilest 
reprobate,  but  when  he  shall  see  the  glory  that  shall  be  revealed, 
he  shall  Rtamp,  and  tear  his  hair,  and  say,  O  if  I  hcd  known 
this !  I  hope  I  should  never  have  dreamed  out  my  lime  so  as  I 
have  done.  We  look  on  the  picture  of  goodness  in  the  volume 
of  the  creatures,  which  satisfles  noL  0,  never  cease  looking  up- 
ward till  you  see  what  you  seek  for  in  the  greatness  of  it.  Sap- 
pose  a  man  should  »leep  all  bis  lifetime,  and  be  in  a  dream,  and 
in  it  have  all  the  delights  and  glory  of  the  world  presented  to 
him  ;  at  last  the  ground  opens  its  mouth  and  swallows  him  np, 
and  then  he  is  awakened ;  Lord,  how  will  he  cry  !  Truly.  Christ, 
and  grace,  and  fellowship  with  God  are  not  thought  of,  sou^t 
for,  are  small  things  with  men ;  but  the  world  is  great,  and  this 
is  your  delight ;  truly.  It  is  but  your  dream.  What  will  your 
■Olds  be  when  death  opens  its  mouth  ?  Wliat  a  sad  thing  is  it  to 
H«  men  spin  cobwebs  that  must  be  swept  down  I 

MativM.  L  To  those  that  never  sought  the  Lord  effectually  to 
this  day,  nor  to  neglect  him  now.  Those  that  are  like  children 
bom  before  their  time,  that  have  hod  some  sorrow  after  the  Lord, 
but  eomfbrted  before  it  was  deep  enough ;  have  some  desires,  but 
«aaed  with  other  things  before  they  were  satisfied  with  Christ  him- 
•etf  i  that  have  run  for  a  while,  but  are  grown  weary  before  they 
came  half  way  home,  and  so  sit  down  in  the  way  ;  like  clocks 


SS6  THE  PARABLE  or 

set  Blow  in  the  first  hour  of  llie  day,  run  alow  all  die  day  afie-  •"- 
So  these  set  back,  and  ihink  they  are  set  right,  too,  run  slow  mJ' 
their  life  after.  That  as  he  said  of  a  covetous  man.  he  had  » 
BtroDg  desire  for  heaven,  if  any  would  bear  his  eliarges  thither  ; 
BO  these.  And  to  you  I  speak  not  that  never  soaght,  but  lh»( 
have  been  seeking;  yet  effectually  to  use  all  means,  this  yon 
never  did. 

1.  Consider  how  far  men  have  gone,  what  means  they  have 
used,  yet  have  never  found  to  this  day.  Luke  xiii.  24.  Strive, 
saith  Christ.  This  I  speak,  beeause  men  think  they  may  oeglect 
their  seasons  of  earnest  pursuit  afier  grace,  men  may  sit  still, 
and  put  all  esfe  from  themselves  to  God,  and  live  in  their  sloth. 
O,  DO ;  eonsider  so  many  snares,  so  many  by-paths,  so  many  de- 
ceits wilLin,  ao  many  sins  and  lusts  to  subdue,  all  time  and  meang 
is  little  enough ;  take  heed  of  spending  prodigally,  and  ihink 
Christ's  grace  will  bear  you  out.  O.  look  upon  the  cries  of  a 
deatli  bed,  to  see  some  men  that  have  been  like  famishing  mm 
that  have  wanted  bread,  and  then  have  cried,  Bread,  bread  !  but 
could  not  eat  it  0,  soith  Paul,  "I  beat  down  my  body,  lest  in 
preaching  to  others  myself  beeome  a  castaway." 

2.  Consider  how  others  have  broken  down  the  greatest  diffi- 
culties, and  are  now  in  glory  j  as,  (Rev.  xii.  U.)  "They  loved 
not  their  lives  to  the  death."  They  have  not  only  spent  thwr 
time,  lost  their  name,  their  comforts,  but  their  blood,  that  have 
passed  through  waters,  fire.<>,  bonds,  imprisonments,  and  with 
Paul  have  not  "accounted  their  lives  dear,  that  they  might  finish 
their  work."  David  was  full  of  God ;  one  would  think  some-  j 
times  he  had  enough,  yet  when  be  awakes  he  is  with  God  M 
midnight,  "  his  thoughts  and  reins  instruct  him ;  the  law  wa 
his  meditation  day  and  night."  You  shall  see  him  in  the  tempi 
blessing  God,  on  the  throne  advancing  the  Lord,  on  the  dui^ 
lull,  in  banishment  longing  after  him,  when  he  sat  amonp 
prinees  meditating;  and  was  there  here  too  much  cost^  Mi^A 
any  of  this  ointment  have  been  spared  ?  Consider,  Christ  hini^ 
self^  (Ileb.  xii.  1-3)  cast  off  sloth,  "  looking  unto  Jesus,  wh(% 
for  the  joy,  despised  the  shame,  endured  the  cross,"  and  that 
not  for  himself,  it  may  be  for  thee,  that  thou  migbtsi  not,  now 
be  is  at  tbe  right  hand  of  God;  so  are  the  saints  in  heaven,  aoi 
now  rejoicing  that  ever  they  sought  him,  that  they  spent  so  mad^ 

9.  Consider,  there  is  a  lime  of  neglect  of  Christ,  which,  what 
past,  you  shall  never  find  him  agtun ;  (John  vii.  3,  4,)  "  Ye  sh^    li 
seek  me,  but  never  find  mo."     You  have  had  many  diamond 
days  and  seasons,  and  God  gives  you  a  space  to  repent,  and 


THE  TSM  VIBGIKS.  257 

^^  '^Mj  Spirit  shall  not  always  strive ; "  it  may  be  some  are 

hit  iritlun  that  space,  that  the  Lord  is  at  the  last  cast  with  yon. 
L  Consider,  whatever  your  condition  be,  shake  off  your  sloth, 

aod  set  upon  the  means,  the  Lord  will  be  found ;  do  it  in  good 
earnest ;  Uiis  will  be  good  news  to  yon  that  think  he  will  never; 
bat  be  thy  heart  like  steel,  and  hard,  the  Lord  will  break  it ; 
(Heb.  xL  6,)  ^He  will  be  found  of  them  that  seek  him  dili- 
gently.^   And  the  greater  things  thou  seekest  for,  the  more  like 
to  get  them;  as  one  of  the  fathers  thinks,  that  to  pray  with 
repetitions,  is  to  pray  for  small  things.    "  Open  thy  mouth  wide, 
I  will  fill  it ; "  and  it  may  be  presently,  in  a  moment,  when  thou 
thinkest  least  of  it,  it  may  be  at  that  time  when  thou  findest  most 
unwillingness  and  difficulty  to  seek ;  seek,  then,  and  the  Lord 
win  be  found.     O,  this  damps  many  a  man  in  the  use  of  means, 
he  thinks  the  Lord  will  never  help,  and  hence  is  tormented  with 
this  thought,  and  sits  down  and  rests.    If  you  would  keep  a 
laborer  from  work,  or  a  traveler  firom  walking,  put  thorns  in 
their  feet ;  now,  the  work  is  neglected,  there  is  pricking  stuff,  he 
can  not  follow  on  his  business  now ;  so  it  is  here.  Prov.  xv.  19. 
Take  heed,  therefore,  of  sitting  down  with  such  thoughts  as 
these ;  it  is  strange  thou  shouldst  be  killed  for  every  cut,  and 
because  wounded  for  sin  to  fall  off  from  the  Lord  by  unbelief  too. 

IL  Motives  to  you  that  have  followed  the  Lord,  but  now  have 
b^;un  to  neglect  him ;  for  what  cause  I  know  not ;  but  I  am 
sure  the  Lord  has  given  you  none ;  yet  a  spirit  of  slumber  and 
sloth  is  upon  you,  ^t  you  are  not  the  men  you  were.  It  may 
be  some  for  want  of  place,  want  of  time,  many  occasions,  many 
sorrows  and  temptations  in  this  wilderness ;  and  hence  no  means 
sweet,  no  bed  easy,  your  bones  are  broken.  It  may  be  a  little 
time  of  neglect  has  emboldened  you  to  a  custom ;  it  may  be  loose 
examples,  the  spirits  of  others  flat,  and  thine  does  so  too,  whom 
God  sent  into  church  fellowship  to  quicken  them.  It  may  be  an 
ill  husband  is  a  hinderance ;  a  bad  wife,  as  Job's  wife ;  or  what- 
ever it  is,  O  that  Gk)d  would  speak  this  day  to  you  I 

1.  Consider  thou  art  nearer  to  thy  salvation  than  when  thou 
didst  first  believe ;  and  then  you  thought  no  time,  no  pains,  too 
much,  but  all  too  little.  Rom.  xiiL  11,  12.  Biariners,  near  the 
shore,  look  out  for  rocks.  Lord,  that  I  may  not  split  now.  Truly, 
as  it  was  with  Christ,  the  longer  he  did  live,  the  more  sorrows, 
so  with  you.  Grod  has  carried  you  near  salvation ;  O,  now  being 
nearer,  there  are  worse  rocks ;  look  about  you  now.  Satan's 
last  temptations  are  strongest.  O,  give  not  in  now.  It  may  be 
not  many  days  nor  weeks  hence  thou  shalt  come  to  thy  journey's 
end.    Awaken,  then,  out  of  sleep. 

22» 


356  THE  TARABLE   OF 

2.  Consider  how  gind  the  Lord  is  of  thy  company ;  he  h.is  bi 
so.  and  will  be  so  again  ;  ihou  canc^t  nol  rome  in  loo  late.  (IS 
iii.21,)  aa  poor  and  vile  as  ihou  art;  (Prov.  viii.,)  ■■  His  dcligh*  ■ 
is  with  the  sons  of  men."  IViliiess  mercies,  witness  afflictions  : 
O,  then  seek  him ;  witness  desertions,  then  seek  him ;  irilnew 
bis  sneet  enierlainment  of  tliee,  many  a  time  when  he  h&s  given 
thee  meat  tliat  the  world  knows  not  of ;  witness  so  many  hinder- 
ances  which  Salaa  lays  in,  who  knows  how  eross  il  is  to  Christ; 
(Jer.  ii.  1-3,)  "I  remember  the  love  of  thine  esponsala,  when 
thou  didst  follow  me : "  especially  when  with  most  difficulty, 
when  little  strength  within,  when  little  Lope  witliout ;  yet  I  will 
not  give  over.  He  never  foi^ets  this.  The  Lord  lias  never 
such  sad  days  us  when  thou  tumesi  thy  bock  on  him,  and  thou 
never  so  good  qp  when  thou  seeke^t  him. 

3.  Considei  thy  gmns;  there  shall  not  the  least  endeavor, 
desire,  pursuit  after  the  Lord,  not  the  least  word,  prayer,  though^ , 
time  spent,  but  an  abundant  recompense  is  in  Christ's  hands ;  (( . 
Cor.  XV.  58,)  ''Ever  abounding,  knowing  lliat  it  shall  not  b>| 

Iin  Tain."  A  man  that  rows  against  the  stream,  a  little  negleOt 
of  rowing  carries  him  down  again.  But,  O,  "  be  ever  aboundii^ 
in  the  Lord's  work,  for  your  labor  is  not  in  vain  in  the  Lord." 

4.  Consider,  if  after  admonition  sg^n  and  agun,  yet  ystt. 
nourish  sloth,  there  is  some  heavy  stroke  near  thee.  Believe  i^ 
he  will  not  alway  bear  willt  thy  neglect  As  nothing  makeiE 
him  more  joyful  than  your  company,  so  nothing  cuts  him  moot 
than  your  neglect ;  but  though  he  save  you  from  eternal  miset;^ 
yet  sometimes  your  greatest  comfort  is  lost  by  this  means.  Iilatt 
xjcvi.  38,  40,  44,  45.  First  he  stirs  them  up  once  and  agai 
then  leaves  them,  and  comes  again,  and  soilh  nothing;  but  tJ 
third  time,  "  Sleep  on  ;  the  Son  of  man  is  betrayed."  So  yoi 
comfort,  and  Christ  and  his  presence  are  betrayed.  Some  hai 
bad  iheir  husbands,  wives,  children,  estates  gone,  bwt,  which  i 
worst  of  all,  the  I^ord  betrayed,  the  comfort  of  their  hearts  g 
and  hence  horrors  and  fears  surjirise  them. 

HI.  Motives  to  us  especially  in  this  country. 

^  ].  God  has  put  the  price  and  wealth  of  tlie  world,  better  thi 

I  all  gold  and  sili-er,  into  our  hands,  who  ore  most  untbankfli 

I  most  unworthy;  and  will  you  come  so  far  for  means,  and  lun 

1  neglect  them?    Will  you  thus  neglect  the  Lord?     Like  meni 

consumptions,  they  long  for  any  tliing,  and  when  it  comes,  thi 

can  not  touch  it.     If  it  were  night,  you  might  fall  to  sleep ;  bi 

the  day  npproacheth.     Shall  God  jilant  his  vineyard,  but  yt 

never  come  to  eat  the  fruit  of  il  ? 

2,  Your  temptations  are  greftt«r  here  to  neglect  the  Lm 


E  TEN    VIHGDia. 


Others  are  tried  with  the  scorching  bu 
there.  God  tries  us  with  the  shadow,  s 
of  ordinances  ;  others  are  iu  storms,  we  i 
ealesi  and  art  full,"  Siuth  Mosea,  (Deut.  ■ 
not  the  Lord.' 


there  is  no  sleeping 
ts  us  under  the  vines 
calms.  "  When  thou 
ii.  10,  11,)  O,  "forget 
und  now  you  are  hun- 


\ 


gty  aAcr  the  »ame  again.     Satan,  when  Christ  was  hungry, 
^ults  him.     It  is  a  thousand  to  one  if  he  makes  70U  not  tair 
offers,  and  overcomes.     Things  that  cost  us  much,  we  prize,  and  - 
keep,  and  improve,  if  of  any  use.     When  we  go  twenty  miles  tot 
a  sacrament,  O,  then  it  is  precious ;  while  under  the  bondage  of  ] 
oppressors,  O,  liberty  of  conscience  and  ordinances  are  precious.  I 
But  when  at  liberty,  we  have  liberty  to  have  them,  henee  la^    i 
liberty  lo  neglect  liiem.  *■ 

3.  Our  enemies  will  be  upon  us.  Who  sees  not  (that  observes 
the  Lord's  dealing)  that  some  sorrows  are  toward,  unless  the 
Lord  awaken,  some  sudden  blasting  blow  ?  If  any  wind  be  stir- 
ring, men  on  the  top  of  mounlAine  will  feel  it.  The  Lord  has  set 
hid  mountain  alwve  all  others,  and  it  is  folly  to  think  to  flee  from 
the  cross,  unless  we  flee  from  Chrial,  It  is  part  of  the  portion 
he  doth  owe  ua  here,  if  he  loves  «a.  Yet  seek  the  Lord,  neglect 
no  seasons  to  gain  him,  and  you  shall  be  hiil.  Zeph.  ii.  2.  Nay, 
when  worst  tiraea  come,  (2  Chron.  xv.  3—5,)  when  there  is  no 
peace,  they  that  seek  him  shall  find  him. 

I  fear  there  is,  at  this  day,  as  deep  mischief  plotting  against 

New  England  ea  ever  the  sun  saw.     Enemies  will  first  deal 

Eubtly  before  cruelly,  but  subtlj  that  they  may  deal  cruelly.  I    t 

Wlien  Pharaoh  deals  wisely,  he  means  to  kill.     Yet  ihe  Lord 

shall  be  witii  us,  as  of  late  has  he  not  been  in  the  midst  of  us 

for  a  refuge  ?     Whatever  any  think,  I  believe  never  did  the 

Liord  atur  up  such  prayers,  faith,  etc.,  amongst  us.  _ 

I.  0,  therefore,  seek  the  Lord  still  in  private.     If  you  find 

10  good,  find  out  the  sin.     Is  not  meditation  neglected  7  com- 

aunioii  of  saints  not  improved  ?     Do  not  say,  We  can  do  nothing, 

i  ■  tad  why  are  we  pressed  to  it  ?     If  you  can  not,  yet  it  is  your 

I   duty,  and  you  must  be  pressed  ;   and  perish  you  shall  if  you 

^  jKek  not ;  or  if  you  be  culled,  there  is  some  Spirit  of  the  Lord 

I  in  you  that  is  mighty. 

it  i.  Being  come  hither  for  public  helps,  and  means,  and  all 
■  ordinances,  O,  do  not  betray  your  liberties;  but  lose  your 
^' blood  before  yon  lose  them,  and  the  Lord  in  them.  Bear  tlie 
k  still  on  your  shoulders,  that  the  Lord  may  dwell  with  you. 

Hence.—  

,  1.  If  you  would  have  the  walla  of  magistmcy  be  broken  don'n, 


SGO  TBE   PAAABLE   OF 

(the  means  to  preserve  the  churdi  and  means  among  yoa.)  S^ 
they  make  laws,  deride  them;  if  they  execute  laws,  appe^i-' 
from  them, 

2,  Would  you  have  confusion,  the  mother  of  discord,  amoa^ 
'  the  people?  let  every  man  once,  one  day  in  the  year,  turn 
I  magistrate,  and  outface  authority,  and  profess  it  is  liis  liberty- 
Would  you  have  rapines,  thefts,  injustice  abound  ?  let  no  man 
know  his  own,  by  removing  the  landmark,  and  deHtroying  prop- 
erties. 

8.  Would  you  have  God's  ordinances  in  the  purity  of  them 
removed?  keep  out  the  load  of  superstition,  but  yet,  for  peace 
sake,  sufier  a  few  seeds  to  be  sown  among  you, 
.       4.  Would  you  have  all  the  mesBengers  of  the  gospel  at  first 
1  re,tiled,  at  last  massacred  ?^profess  they  are  no  better  than  ecriba 
/  and   Pharisees,   persecuting  Egyptians,  enemies   to   the   Lord 
I    Jesus,  and  the  more  devout  the  woi^e  ;  as  those  that  stirred  np 
I     storms  in  Germany  said,  Christ  had  four  great  enemies — the 
\   pope,  Anabaptists,  Martin  Luther,  but  especially  John  Calvin. 
1"  B.  Would  you  ruin  the  gospel  ?  set  not  Popery  against  it,  bvt  J 
I  gospel  against  gospel,  promises  against  promises,  Christ  agaiiuAH 
Christ,  Spirit  against  Spirit,  grace  agiunst  grace,  and  then  he  i^| 
twice  beaten  that  falls  by  his  own  weapons.  fl 

6.  Would  you  have  oppressors  set  over  you,  to  remove  or^S 
nances,  to  increase  your  burdens  ?  maintain  this  principle  tho^fl 
that  they  will  not  assault  us  first  by  craft  and  subUety,  bufr^ 
openly  and  violently. 

7.  Would  you  have  this  state  in  time  to  degenerate  into 
tyranny  ?  take  no  care,  then,  for  making  laws.  When  they  are 
made,  would  you  have  all  authority  turned  to  a  mere  vanity  ?  be 
gentle,  and  open  the  door  to  all  comers  that  may  cut  our  throats 
in  time  ;  and,  if  being  come,  they  do  ofTend,  threaten  them  and 
fine  them,  but  use  no  sword  against  them.  You  fathers  of  the 
country,  be  not  offended  (  this  I  speak  not  to  disparage  any  ;  the 
practice  speaks  otherwise ;  1  only  forewarn ;  I  hope  the  Lord 
has  prepared  better  days  and  mercies  for  us ;  I  am  sure  he  will, 

1  if  what  means  we  have  we  preserve,  and  what  we  preserve,  we, 
^  through  grace,  shall  improve. 


THB  TEN  VIRGINS.  261 


CHAPTER   XVni. 

TBAT  THE  HEABTS  AND  SOULS  OF  BELIEVERS  ABE  HADE  AS 
VESSELS  ONLY  FOR  THE  RECEPTION  OF  CHRIST,  HIS  SPIRIT, 
ASD  THE   GRACES  THEREOF. 

Section  I. 

2.  The  inward  principle,  wherein  lies  the  second  difference 
which  is  plainly  expressed. 

We  are  now  to  inquire  further  concerning  these  vessels  and 
the  oil  in  them.  Vessels  were  the  place  only  of  receiving  and 
preserving  the  oil  for  the  continual  burning  and  shining  of  the 
kunps ;  so  that,  though  in  some  scriptures,  by  lamp  is  under- 
stood both  the  vessel  and  the  lamp  by  a  figure,  yet  in  dbtinct 
phrase  of  speech,  that  is  properly  the  lamp  which  bums  and 
gives  light,  and  that  which  contains  the  oil  to  nourish,  this  is  the 
vessel ;  so  that  the  vessels  were  not  separate  things  from  the 
lamp,  as  though  the  lamp  was  in  one  hand,  and  a  vessel  in  an- 
other ;  Uiis  was  neither  the  custom  nor  comeliness  of  that  age  to 
cumber  themselves  thus ;  but  the  lamp  (as  it  is  in  ours)  was  that 
part  which  was  kindled  and  lighted,  the  vessel  that  which  kept 
the  oil  to  serve  this  end ;  and  hence  the  folly  of  five  of  them 
appeared,  that  they  would  carry  burning  lamps  with  empty  ves- 
sels, just  as  if  a  man  should  draw  the  wick  through  the  oil  that 
it  may  bum  for  a  time,  and  provide  no  oil  in  the  vessel  to  main- 
tain die  lamp ;  however,  all  comes  to  one  (if  they  be  separate) 
in  respect  of  that  that  I  aim  at. 

Thus,  literally,  we  see  what  the  lamp,  vessel,  and  oil  is  ;  n6w, 
what/ is  spiritually  meant  thereby  ?  ..-^ 

ly  For  the  oil ;  what  is  that  ?  I  intend  not  here  to  show  the 
fbna  and  various  apprehensions  of  Popish  writers,  who  under- 
stand by  oil,  alms,  good  works,  a  good  intention,  etc.  But  by 
oil  is  meant  the  Spirit  of  Christ  and  the  graces  of  it,  peculiar 
to  all  the  elect  J  and  thus,  in  Scripture  phrase,  (1  John  ii.  27,^ 
the  Spirit  is  called  ^'the  anointing;'*  and  the  graces  of  the 
Spirit,  (Cant.  i.  3,)  "  the  smell  of  Christ's  ointments."  Har- 
lots love  him  for  the  gifls  he  sends,  but  virgins  for  the  grace  he 
has.  That  oil  which  ran  fir^t  on  Aaron's  head,  and  runs  down 
to  his  skirts,  is  here  meant.  Now,  as  Christ  himself  had  not  the 
Si>irit  without  graces,  nor  these  without  the  Spirit,  but  both,  so 
both  these  being  in  him  as  in  the  fountain,  they  are  in  us  as  in 
the  vessels. 

2.  Christ  being  the  fountain  of  all  grace,  and  having  the 


I 


THE    PARABLE   C 


to  enKK.  he      ' 


Spirit  whlioiit  measure,  an<],  therefore,  has  enoogli  to  epKre,  he 
can  not  be  meant  bj  these  vessels  which  had  but  their  meason, 
and  such  a  measure  as  that  Ibey  had  none  to  spare  for  the  other. 
Therefore,  by  Teasels  are  meant  principally  the  precious  sonb 
of  the  faithfnl,  into  which  this  golden  oil  was  pul ;  and,  there- 
fore, (2  Cor.  IT.  7,)  "  We  haTC  thb  treasure  in  earthen  Tessels;" 
and,  (Rom.  ix.  33,)  "They  are  vessels  of  glory,  prepared  nnlo 
glory,"  and  so  frequently ;  so  that  herein  the  foolish  fall  short, 
for  the  foolish  boasicd  of  Christ  out  of  them,  but  where  was  the 
Spirit  and  virtue  of  Christ  in  them?  And  this  is  conceived  to 
be  the  reason  why  the  main  difference  is  not  made,  by  the  want 
of  the  external  principle,  viz.,  Christ,  but  by  want  of  the  inter- 
na] principle  and  work ;  this  they  had  not.  1.  They  had  U) 
much  oil,  i.  e.,  lighter  strokes  of  die  Spirit,  as  kindled  a  profes* 
sion,  but  they  had  not  enough.  2.  Tbey  hod  so  much  oil  and 
light  as  continued  their  profession  for  a  while,  bnt  it  continued 
not  long. 

Here,  therefore,  observe  these  four  things. 

Obierv.  1.  That  the  precious  souls  of  the  faithful  are  vesseli 
made  only,  or  chiefly,  to  receive  and  preserve  the  presence  of 
the  Spirit  and  the  grace  of  ChrisL 

Obierv,  2.  That  within  these  vessels  there  u  an  inward  prin- 
ciple of  grace  and  life. 

Ohterv.  3.  There  is  a  certain  measure,  degree,  plenitude,  or 
fullness  of  the  Spirit  of  grace  in  the  heart  of  the  faithful,  which 
the  unsound,  though  most  glorious  professors  of  the  gospel,  fall 
short  of. 

Obierv.  4.  That  the  graces  of  the  saints,  wherewith  their 
hearts  by  the  Spirit  arc  filled,  are  constant,  and  of  an  everlasting 
and  eternal  nature. 

»The«e  three  last  answer  three  questions.  If  any  ask  the  dil^ 
ference  between  the  virgins,  the  foolish  want,  and  the  wise  han^fl 
an  inward  principle  of  the  Spirit  of  life.  If  it  be  said,  hyp9>  | 
crites  have  an  inward  work,  yet  this  inward  principle  is  such  m 
fullness  of  Spirit  which  they  ever  fall  short  of,  and  this  will  make 
them  known  for  the  present.  If,  again,  it  be  said,  that  maoy 
flourish  gloriously  for  a  time,  yet  it  is  of  an  everlasting  nature, 
and  this  will  manifest  them  one  from  another  in  i' 
The  first  point,  therefore,  I  will  only  touch  on 


Skctiox  II. 


i 


Doet.  I.  That  the  precious  souls  and  hearts  of  all  the  faithful 
ftre  veaseb  made  chiefly  and  only  to  receive  and  preserve  the 


THE  TEN  VIRGINS.  263 

S|»rit  and  grace  of  Christy  or  ihe  gracious  presence  of  the 
Spirit  of  Ckrist.  That,  as  it  is  with  the  souls  of  the  wicked, 
thej  are  made  onlj  to  hold  Satan,  sin,  and  wrath,  and  so  fitted 
for  destmcdon,  so  the  souls  of  the  saints  are  made  and  fitted 
oolj  to  receive  and  nourish  the  Spirit,  grace,  and  love  of  Christ. 
That,  as  it  is  with  princes,  the  best  rooms  are  reserved  only  for 
them ;  their  attendEmts  may  come  in  and  out  to  serve  them,  but 
it  is  their  room,  their  lodging.  So  here,  the  hearts  of  the  faith- 
ful, and  the  best  rooms,  best  affections  of  it,  are  only  to  enter- 
tain the  Lord  and  his  graces  and  Spirit ;  yet  other  things  may 
come  in  and  out  as  attendants  to  him,  to  serve  him,  but  the 
rooms  themselves  are  only  for  his  proper  use.  2  Tim.  ii.  20,  21. 
The  church  is  Grod's  house.  Now,  there  are  many  vessels, 
(many  souls ;)  some  baser,  of  wood  and  earth,  some  of  honor. 
What  are  these  ?  Am.  *'  If  a  man  purge  himself  from  these ; " 
for  no  man  is  bom  with  a  next  disposition  to  receive  grace,  as  a 
vessel  full  of  puddle  water  that  must  be  first  cast  out  Now, 
when  this  is  done,  he  is  a  vessel  meet  for  his  Master's  use,  pre- 
pared, etc  The  best  vessels  abide  in  the  house,  not  for  their 
own  or  servants'  use,  but  for  the  master's  use  only.  And  though 
the  Spirit  may  withdraw  for  some  time,  and  they  be  unable  to 
do  any  good  work,  yet  they  are  prepared  for  the  Spirit,  and  so 
for  eveiy  good  work ;  and  here  is  all  the  use  of  the  vessel  of 
honor.  Hypocrites  are  vessels  of  pomp,  and  state,  and  orna- 
ment O,  the  brave  church  of  Sardis !  the  profound  judgments, 
deep  heads,  eminent  Christians ;  but  not  vesseb  of  honor,  be- 
cause not  vesseb  of  use,  only  for  their  Master,  only  to  receive 
the  eternal  anointing  of  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  Jesus.  If  you 
would  know  the  certainty  of  this  more  fully,  1.  Gro  and  ask 
th^rnselves,  Is  it  so  or  not  ?  l£  they  be  of  age,  and  know  them- 
selves, they  will  say,  I  am  the  Lord's  only ;  (Is.  xliv.  4,  5,) 
**"  When  they  spring  up  as  willows  by  the  watercourses ;  one 
shall  say,  I  am  the  Lord's."  As  an  eminent  light  said,  when 
dying,  O  Lord,  I  will  be  thine.  Ask  the  world  whose  they  are, 
and  to  what  use  and  purpose  they  serve.  They  will  answer, 
they  are  none  of  ours;  and,  therefore,  (John  xv.  19,)  ^^the 
worid  hates  them."  Ask  the  Lord  himself;  he  will  profess, 
though  many  wants  and  weaknesses  in  them,  —  nay,  though 
sometimes  they  are  weary  and  neglect  him,  fall  and  soil  them- 
aelves,  —  yet,  (Is.  xliii.  21,)  "This  people  have  I  formed  for 
myself."  Vessels  formed  and  fitted  of  God  only  for  his  glory. 
Season  1.  Because  all  the  creatures  in  the  world  are  theirs 
and  servants  to  them,  and,  therefore,  they  are  for  the  Lord  only. 
1  Cor.  iiL  21-23.     If  the  more  we  took  care  for  and  set  our 


Sfi4  THE    FAIIABLE   OP 

hearts  upon  ihe  creature,  if  the  more  we  were  conversuit  w-ff'* 
it,  the  more  we  should  have  and  the  better  we  should  live.  <?'' 
if  they  should  not  serve  us,  unless  we  did  firei  bow  down  oit 
knees  lo  wonhip  ihem,  and  our  Ijacks  to  bear  them  ;  then,  se*- 
ing  the  world  lives  by  catcliing,  we  might  tfaen  disrobe  and  dii>- 
throne  our  souls,  and  care  more  for  these  thingB  and  leas  for  tlie 
Lord  ;  love  these  things  more  and  the  Lord  leas  ;  but  the  Lord 
Jesus  haviug  taken  all  care  for  his  people,  and  bearing  more 
love  to  them,  and  having  more  care  of  them  than  themselres. 
and,  therefore,  having  given  all  creatures  in  heaven,  eea,  and 
dry  land  to  serve  them,  tliey  ought  to  be  and  are  only  for  hira. 
Hos.  ii.  21,  23.  When  a  man  is  the  seed  of  Giod,  and  bom  for 
him,  now  all  creatures  serve  him;  hence  1  Tim.  vi.  17,  18. 
It  is  a  prevailing  motive  with  all  the  saints,  we  have  a  living 
God  that  gives  us  all  things  ;  all  creatures  being  dead,  and  not 
able  of  themselves  to  help  us,  therefore,  tniet  not  on  these  things, 
but  him  only  ;  be  not  high-minded  in  these  things,  but  magnify 
him  only.  We  know  how  angry  God  was  with  BelshazEsr  for 
profaning  [he  vessels  of  the  Lonl's  house  in  making  them  quaflf- 
ing-bow[g,  and  turning  them  to  common  use.  When  a  man  is 
brought  to  that  misery  that  he  has  none,  nor  knows  of  none  to 
be  a  friend  lo  take  care  or  thought  for  him,  none  that  loves  him, 
then  he  shifts  for  himself,  and  becomes  a  servant  But  tfa 
that  luiow,  as  women,  lliat  they  have  rich  husbands  to  live 
they  take  care  (1  Cor.  vii.  34)  how  to  please  them;  so  hi 
Whut  is  the  reason  that  men  are  mad  foi-  this  world  ?  Beca 
they,  poor  creatures,  have  no  friend,  know  no  friend ;  but 
have  him  and  know  him.  John  xvii.  2.  The  sainls  are  given 
Christ,  Christ  to  them,  and  all  the  world  put  into  Christ' 
for  us,  (for  the  creatures  are  not  given  to  lis  immediately  to  « 
own  dispose,  and  hence  we  have  not  much  of  this  world,)  to  wh 
eud?  That  so  he  might  give  eternal  hfe  begun  here.  This 
the  only  gill,  and  lost,  and  best,  and  worthy  of  himself,  and  ti 

Reason  2.  In  regard  of  that  blessed  liberty  all  the  faithful  s 
brought  into ;  for  what  is  a  Christian  liberty  ?  Is  it  to  ser 
men  ?  No.  1  Cor.  vii.  23.  Therefore,  serve  not  yourselvi 
Is  it,  then,  to  serve  your  own  lust  ?  No.  Rom.  vi.  22,  "  Yt 
are  made  free  from  sin  and  servants  unto  God."  Is  it,  then, 
serve  any  creature  out  of  yourselves?  No.  Gal.  iv.  I.  T! 
world  is  yours  already,  (1  Cor.  iii.  21,  22,)  given  to  you,  itoag 
for  you  ;  spend  not,  therefore,  one  groat  more  to  purchase  it,  b 
keep  those  atteetious  and  hearts  for  the  Lord,  mueh  less  imprit 
not  and  imbondnge  not  yourselves  for  it,     A  Christian' 


vbich  God  crawns  tiim  wilU  above  all  [be  princes  of  the  world, 
to  be  only  ibr  the  Lord,  wbicTi  liberty  all  creatures  groan  lo 
in.  Rom.  viii.  21,  22.  To  be  for  <5od  and  a  lust,  for  Christ 
and  this  world,  it  is  a  shameful  bondage,  and  most  lamentable, 
and  you  are  not  at  liberty  yet,  if  not  only  for  the  Lord.  When 
the  children  of  kings  and  peers,  of  princeH,  shall  be  made  to 
ae  at  the  cull  of  their  grooma  and  kitchen  boys,  if  ever  they 
stood  before  the  face  of  princes,  they  will  count  this  a  heavy 
thralldom  and  bondage  ;  bo,  if  ever  yon  stood  before  the  God  of 
the  whole  earth,  you  will  account  it  a  heavy  bondage  t«  have 
a  heart  sometime  for  and  sometime  not  for  the  Lord.  Is  not 
this  liberty  ?  No ;  but  to  have  a  heart  only  determined  to  the 
Iiord  ;  as  it  is  in  angels,  and  in  the  man  Clirist  Jesus.  Verily, 
look  as  the  Lord  leaves  his  people  for  a  time  to  their  liberty  in 
,  80  that  then-  hearts  are  determined  only  lo  sin,  that  they  are 
fit  only  to  receive  the  suggcatioDs  and  pleasures  of  it,  but  At  to 
snch  the  Lord's  Spirit ;  so  the  Lord  Jesus  making  himself  and 
_  tee  more  aweet  than  their  lusts,  their  hearts  are  determined 
only  for  him,  their  vessels  are  only  for  bis  oil.  Rom.  vi.  19. 
The  liberty  of  will  that  Armininns  plead  for  is  nothing  hat  tGe" 
bypocriay  of  a  false  heart,  whose  heart  being  touched  partly  with 
God  and  partly  with  the  creature,  hence  is  always  falling  from 
one  lo  llie  other.  James  i.,  "  Double-minded  men."  But  the 
s^ta  are  determined  unio  one,  and  then  made  perfect  in  one. 

Reruott  3.  Id  regard  of  the  fullness  and  all-sufficiency  of  the 
Spirit  of  grace,  which  their  hearts  are  made  fit  vessels  to  receive, 
and  do  receive;  they  finding  enough  there,  God  rescrveii  thero, 
and  they  reserve  themselves,  only  for  the  receiving  of  ibis ;  (John 
vL  680  "  Will  you  depart  ?  Lord,  to  whom  shall  we  go  ?  Thou 
hast  Uie  words  of  life ; "  and  so  the  Spirit  of  life,  that  have 
quickened  our  hearts  when  dead,  that  do  put  fresh  life  to  us 
vhen  dying,  that  comfort  our  hearts  when  sorrowing.  Here  is 
the  life,  glory,  the  life  of  Christ,  the  Ufe  of  God.  Other  things 
do  but  dead  our  hearts,  thou  hast  wonis  of  life  :  (John  iv.  14,) 
"  The  water  that  I  shall  give,"  1.  Be  that  which  shall  quench  all 
bis  thirst  lo  other  things ;  so  that,  though  a  man  wants  them,  yet 
his  stomach  is  gone,  which  the  damned  shall  find  otherwise. 
S>  A  well  of  water  in  him,  ever  near  him ;  men  have  their  ac- 
commodations far  oS',  but  this  is  in  him.  Your  hearts  within  are 
troubled,  perplexed,  and  behold  this  is  in  you.  3.  Springing  up, 
continually  increasing ;  for  to  have  a  good  thing,  and  not  to  be 
BatisUed  in  our  desires  with  it,  what  is  it  but  a  misery  P  Hence 
ft  springs  up  unto  everlasting  life,  which  is  the  fourth,  viz., 
The  continuance  of  it ;  this  will  be  here  till  my  mortality  is  swal- 
»0L.  XL  23 


p 


i 


t 


lowed  up  of  life.     Like  a  leaking  ship,  that  (akes  in  water  b^ 
little  and  little,  till  at  last  it  is  awalloweii  up  in  the  sea. 

Section  III. 
Uie  1.  Hence  we  may  see  the  reason  why  the  Lord  doth  not 
abundantly  reveal  and  communicate  himself  to  the  Boula  of  many 
men.  What  is  the  matter?  Is  it  because  they  find  no  want  of 
his  Spirit,  and  life,  and  grace,  and  peace,  and  glory  ?  Yes,  they 
do,  and  hence  express  their  wants  lo  men,  and  complun  of'their 
wants  to  God.  Is  it  for  this  that  Christ  has  not  wherewithal  7 
Yes,  ho  has  receiyed  the  Spirit  without  measure,  (John  iii.  34,) 
and  fountains  alway  run,  though  men  seldom  drink.  What,  then, 
is  it  because  they  bring  not  Ifaeir  hearts,  hold  not  their  vessels, 
nnder  the  Lord's  horn  of  oil  f  Yes,  that  they  doj  but  their 
vessels  are  naught ;  they  are  not  only  for  him  ;  they  feel  their 
1  want  of  grace  and  Christ,  but  not  only  or  chiefly  of  this.  Spe- 
I  cial  grace  shall  never  be  poured  into  a  common  vessel,  a  common 
1  heart,  that  lies  in  common  for  God,  and  lust,  and  world,  too. 
The  honor,  peace,  life,  gain,  cf  a  God  are  sweet  and  precious. 
"'  Lord,  ever  give  me  that  water  to  drink."  But  you  have  fiva 
husbands,  and  seek  not  thb  only.  Hence,  if  the  Lord  denies 
you,  you  can  be  content,  because  you  have  something  else  to  fill 
r  vessels ;  if  the  Lord  gives,  you  undervalue  it,  and  grow 
'se ;  and  the  very  rising  of  that  common  grace  you  have  is 
the  beginning  of  your  apostasy  and  setting  off  from  God.  And 
hence  no  wonder  why  you  pray,  but  never  have,  (James  i.  6,  7 ;) 
want  and  crave,  but  never  find ;  your  vessel  ie  naught, 
I  though  the  Lord  is  good.  It  is  a  black  mark  that  thou  art  in 
I  bondage  lo  the  creature,  and  didst  never  know  what  the  liberty, 
n  the  glorious  liberty  of  a  son  means.  And  it  is  a  most 
I  grievous  bondage  to  be  half  unloosed,  and  jet  lo  be  in  bonds. 
And  I  assure  you,  if  you  knew  the  gift  of  God,  if  ever  you 
tasted  how  sweet  the  Lord  is,  this  is  the  only  thing  your  souls 
will  cry  for ;  that  when  you  come  to  ask,  and  the  liord  saith. 
What  would  you  have  ?  O,  ihe  Spirit  of  life !  0,  the  anoinling 
of  my  blessed  head !  And  what  else  ?  It  only.  This  is  it  my 
vessel  is  made  to  hold.  I  am  not  made  for  my  lust,  nor  sins,  nor 
world.  I  would  I  had  a  bigger  vessel,  a  larger  heart  to  receive 
thy  grace  only.  I  confess,  a  gracious  heart  may,  for  a  time,  ba 
carried  too  violently  after  other  things,  and  yet  seek  the  Lord, 
too,  as  Solomon.  Eccles.  ii.  But  after  it  knows  Christ  better,  it 
is  more  reserved  now  for  him,  as  Gen.  xsxix.  3-6.  Joseph's 
muter  for  a  time  kept  things  in  his  own  hand ;  bat  when  he . 


eph-.^ 
3aa«H 


I  Jhjtwd  was  with  Josepli,  and  that  he  was  prosperona  and 
I  VM^  then  he  made  him  overseer,  and  he  knew  not.  it  is  said, 
1  «U)ke  had,  save  onl^  the  bread  that  lie  did  eat  So  it  is  in  our 
fatftlu  As  the  poor  woman  that  knew  the  Mcse^iuh,  she  leaves 
Iwr  vessel,  her  water-pol,  with  him,  and  now  would  have  all  the 
oiv  to  come  and  see,  and  believe  in  him,  and  depend  on  him  only, 
tnut  to  him  only,  etc.  Dost,  therefore,  seek,  and  find  not  ? 
Ha^t  been  long  waiting,  and  feelest  not  ?  And  thou  wonderest 
at  il !  Others  comforted  and  I  not  I  Search  if  this  be  not  the 
cause ;  it  may  be  thy  heart  is  not  set  only  for  this,  but  on  thy 
back,  belly,  loU,  ease,  what  shall  I  eat,  drink,  etc.  As  some 
women,  because  God  does  not  feed  so  liberally  their  sweet  tooth, 
their  Lickerish  longings,  build  them  ceiled  houses,  measure  their 
present  condition  according  to  their  sinful  humor ;  nothing  con 
please  them,  neither  husband,  servants,  ministers,  nor  God's  or- 
dinances. Is  this  a  vessel  for  the  Lord  and  his  grace  only  ? 
Tou  must,  you  will  have  a  longer  coat  than  yon  can  well  wear ; 
liotd  here.  Never  think  to  have  one  prayer  answered.  If  this 
night  thy  day  of  misery  should  come,  cry  thou  mayst,  but  no 
God  to  hear  thee  or  help  thee.  0,  a  little  oil,  now  a  Utile  grace, 
now  a  little  mercy.  Lord,  now.  0,  no ;  you  have  no  vessel  to 
bold  it.  But,  O,  bless  the  Lord,  you  know  it.  Others,  it 
may  be,  are  not  so  full  of  these  sores  of  impatiency ;  but  you 
pray  for  God  and  grace,  and  have  it  noL  Why  so?  These 
are  not  the  things  that  you  are  only  set  for.  Why?  Because 
joa  ore  content  without  them.  I  am  not,  you  will  eay  ;  but  you 
are,  for  you  do  not  lament  daily  after  the  Lord  for  these  things 
ooly.  That  which  only  satisfies,  that  thy  heart  is  not  at  rest  till 
it  find.  I  hope  I  may  have  help  fur  all  this.  No,  saith  James, 
think  not  so.  0,  therefore,  bless  the  Lord  1  You  know  what 
'  hurts  you ;  saints  have  hurts  tlius  i  but  they  purge  themselves, 
Mxl  hence  are  blessed  vessels  still.  When  Moses  was  begging 
for  larael,  "  Mine  angel,"  saith  God,  "  shall  go  with  you  ; "  I  will 
Bot.  No;  thou  only,  "else  let  us  die  here."  Exod.  xxxiii. 
Tbi<  prayer  wins  the  field  and  wears  the  garland.  The  evils  of 
Ibe  chardies  are  tnany,  an  hour  of  temptation  is  coming  on ;  scan-  ' 
dab  are  like  to  be  great ;  the  subtleties  of  enemies  many.  Now, 
we  pray,  and  yet  lliese  have  come,  and  we  fear  they  will  come. 
O  beloved,  go  to  the  I^rd,  and  plead  with  him  only  for  this ; 
j  and  when  thou  canst  procure  nothing  for  thyself,  yet  let  it  fare 
I  well  with  Sion;  and  tliis  only  I  must  have,  (Ps.  txvii.  4,)  "One 
I  thing  I  have  de:^!re<l."     You  shall  have  it  then,  else  not.^' 

iJu  3.  See  the  great  sin  of  those  that  lose  their  life,  ]freserTe 
01  Uie  Spirit  when  he  comes  to  them  in  ordinances.     You  are 


i 


TesBela  only  made  for  the  LorJ,  and  will  you  lose  tliat  which  I 
drojw  in  ?    There  are  no  olhera  can  receive  him,  (John  xiv. 
and  when  he  comes  to  you,  do  you  tliua  requite  him?  etc. 


I 


CHAPTER   XIX. 


Section  I. 


1 


Docl.  2.  That  within  these  vessels  is  an  inward  prinriple  of 
life  and  grace.  Or,  the  burning,  ehining  profession  of  aH  the 
faithful,  it  proceedeth  from  an  inward  principle  of  the  Spirit  of 
grace,  by  the  means  of  which  their  lamp  bums  snd  their  profes- 
sion ehineit. 

For  this  I  understand  by  oil  in  the  vessel,  the  Spirit  of  Jesus, 
not  out  of  ua,  but  received  in  us  ;  not  coming  only  upon  us,  for 
80  ho  may  on  foolish  virgins  by  Balaamitbh  ravishiuents,  and 
hypocritical  pangs,  and  land-flood  affections ;  but  abiding  in  ui, 
and  that  not  as  it  doth  in  hypocrites,  but  oa  it  is  in  Christ  Jesus, 
without  measure,  both  Spirit  and  graces,  so  it  abides  in  us  in 
jBieasurc ;   in  bim  as  the  fountain,  in  us  as   the  vessels,  irom 
fwhoae  fullness  we  receive  the  same.     So  that/by  oil  is  not  meant 
I  the  external  principle  of  all  life,  the  Lord  Jesus  having  Spirit 
and  grace  enough,  but  keeping  our  hearts  empty  of  it.     But  the 
Lord  Jesus  in  us,  who  is  not  in  us  but  by  hu  Spirit,  even  tli^'j 
.  Spirit  of  life,  from  whence  all  our    actions  spring,  and  frooK^  J 
\ which  oil  our  lamp  burns.  /  This,  therefore,  I  say,  the  professio 
ot  the  faithful  springs  not  from  outward  motives  or  principles  at 
motion,  as  (he  actions  of  hypocrites,  sometimes  sudden   praiw 
sometimes  gain,  sometimes  fears,  sometimes  fleslily  hopes,  i 
times  sudden  conceit  and  fancy,  Komelimes  irruption  and  rus 
of  the  Spirit  upon  them,  but  there  is  a  spring  within,  there  is  i 
life  within,  tliere  is  oil  in  the  vessel  to  fill  the  lamp,  and  so  heno 
it  burns  ;  (Eph.  H.  1,)  "  Ton  hath  he  quickened  who  were  dead  li 
sins  ; "  i.  e,,  you  were  held  aa  fast  under  the  power  of  your  s 
as  a  dead  man  is  under  the  bonds  of  death ;  but  now,  in  I 
room  of  that  death,  there  is  the  Spirit  of  life  and  the  life  of  ll 
rBpirit.     Now,  life  is  an  inward  principle  of  motion  of  any  thin 
un  its  own  place;  as  the  sun,  and  trees,  and  grass,  and  < 
You  may  l^e  a  alone,  or  a  millstone,  or  wheel,  and  move  i 
they  have  no  life,  because  this  is  not  from  an  inward  principtad 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS. 

■6  liypocrites  may  be  acted  and  moved  by  ihe  great  power  of  ■'  . 
the  Spirit  in  an  ordinance,  yet  not  living,  but  dead  still.  John  I  ' 
iv.  li;  the  water  —  which  is  the  Spirit  —  "is  a  spring  of  living 
water  in  him."  Cistema  may  have  water  in  them,  but  no  spring 
that  is  running  winter  and  summer.  1  John  iii.  9.  This  ia  called 
the  seed  remaining  in  him,  which  is  that  new  creation,  new 
birth,  which  the  verse  itself  eipounds,  so  that  he  can  not  sin ; 
it  is  against  hia  nature,  now  he  can  not  be  a  sin-maker.  Balaam 
could  not  curse  the  people  of  God,  and  many  can  not  do  as  otiicrs 
do.  Wliy  ?  is  it  because  they  are  bom  of  God  ?  No ;  but  from 
Borne  other  respects,  and  hence  (Matt.  xiii.  31)  the  stony  ground 
fell  away,  because  they  had  not  the  root  within.  This  is  called 
the  inner  man,  Ihe  good  treasure  of  the  heart,  opposite  to  the 
evil  treasure  of  the  heart  of  a  wicked  man.  Now,  as  an  evil 
man  acts  not  only  from  Satan,  llie  evil  spirit,  but  the  inward 
power  of  lust,  fio  the  soiiils.  Matt.  icii.  35.  And  here  I  intend 
not  to  show  what  this  inward  principle  is  particularly,  for  that  I 
reserve  to  the  two  last  points ;  yet,  lest  any  should  stumble,  let 
me  speak  to  two  sorts. 

I.  Know  some  of  you,  that  there  are  not  only  external  actings 
of  the  Spirit  from  whence  we  act,  but  a  new  nature  in  the 
s»nl8. 

3.  Let  others  know,  1.  That  as  before  the  Lord  calls  wc  arc 
dead,  so  after  we  are  alive  this  inward  principle  k  not  perfect 
here.  Hence  actions  sometimes  eease,  and  when  tiey  do  not, 
yet  are  corrupted,  as  lata  prtndpia  act,  but  never  err  in  their  act ; 
[  hence  have  need  of  pardon  from,  and  acceptance  in,  the  Lord 
~.  Tliat  this  is  not  in  us  as  in  Adam,  who  did  not  need 
e  borrow  life  of  another,  but  it  stands  in  daily  need  of  the  Lord 
esuB ;  and  hence  this  inward  principle  acta,  but  it  is  by  faith, 

e  operations  ef  which  are  the  wagons  to  victual  the  camp  con- 
bnally,  especially  in  time  of  need,  and  which  is  part  of  this  in- 

ird  principle ;  and  hence,  (1  Pet.  i.  5,)  "  Ton  are  kept  by 
r  and  faith ; "  i.  e.,  your  souls,  graces,  lives,  are  kept  by  the 
Ipirit,  but  through  faith  in  us,  "  to  salvation." 

t  me,  thepetbi^,  prove  these  three  things  to  you  for  ^eaiag*! 
■ft  point :  —  \ 

1.  That  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  Jesus  is  in  the  souls  of  the 
■  'ihfuL  I 

S.  That  there  is  a  principle  of  created  graces,  or  the  life  of 
'  e  Spirit  in  them.  1 

S-  That,  from  this  principle  of  the  Spirit  dispensing  himself 
J  hia  grace«i  our  lamp  bums,  our  acts  of  profession  spring  nod] 

*  e  forth. 


270  THE  PASABLB  OP 

/Vrvf.  That  the  Spirit  of  Jesus  is  in  the  souls  of  the  faithful     ^ 
O  John  ii.  27.)  ^  The  anoiDting  teacheth  700  all  things."     Baam^ 
viii.  11,  ^  The  Spirit  that  raised  np  Jesos  Christ  from  the  deac/ 
dwells  in  us"     The  manner  of  his  heing  in  ns  I  intend  not  to 
meddle  with,  unless  I  saw  more  caose.     I  do  heliere  the  iw^wftfi^r 
of  his  abiding  in  us,  and  his  nearness  to  all  the  saints,  when  seen 
of  us,  maj  astonish  our  own  spirits,  and  shall  one  day  confimnd 
all  the  worid  ;  only  know,  as  the  martyr  said,  ^  He  is  come,  he 
is  come."     The  spirit  of  the  world  and  Satan  is  cast  out,  (1  Cor. 
ii.  1 2.)  and  in  room  of  them  enters  the  Spirit  of  God. 

Secondly,  That  the  Spirit  so  is  in  the  faithful,  as  that  there  is 
a  principle  of  created  graces  in  them,  or  an  inward  principle  of 
life  and  grace.  Not  that  these  alone  make  this  inward  principle, 
but  the  Spirit  in  us  working  of  them,  working  by  them.  And 
truly  it  is  a  sad  thing  if  the  proving  of  such  a  principle  shall  be 
an  attributing  too  much  to  grace  in  us. 

1.  Therefore,  to  deny  this  is  to  deny  Christ  to  be  our  sanctifi- 
cation ;  for  beside  the  passive  obedience  of  Christ,  we  are  justi- 
fied by  his  active  obedience  also  ;  i.  e.,  his  inward  conformity  to 
the  law  and  his  external  obedience  to  the  law.  So  that  graces 
as  they  are  in  Christ  become  our  justification,  and  hence  he  is 
said  to  be  "  our  righteousness."  No  man  can  stand  before  God 
but  by  perfect  holiness,  but  by  doing  whatever  the  law  requires, 
and  continuing  so  to  do ;  this  is  not  in  us,  this  is  in  Christ ;  this, 
as  it  is  in  Christ,  is  properly  our  righteousness  or  justification. 
Now,  what  is  our  sanctification  ?  If  not  graces  in  Christ,  then 
graces  received  from  Christ  Jesus,  which  is  this  inward  princi- 
ple I  now  speak  of;  and,  therefore,  to  deny  this  is  no  less 
than  to  deny  Christ  is  our  sanctification  ;  but  Paul  saith,  "  The 
Lord  sanctify  you  in  soul,  and  body,  and  spirit."  1  Thess.  v.  23. 
And  if  it  were  so,  a  man  may  have  a  heart  unsanctified  and 
Christ  too. 

2.  If  there  should  not  be  those  graces,  then  a  Christian  was 
not  lH)und  to  add  one  grace  to  another,  but  then  the  apostle's  pre- 
C('])t  should  be  broken  ;  (2  Pet.  i.  7,  8,)  and  so  a  Christian  could 
not  grow  in  grace,  for  gnices  are  perfect  in  Christ;  and  the 
Spirit  does  not  grow  in  gnico,  and  the  immediate  operations  of 
the  Spirit  increasing  in  us  are  not  properly  graces,  no  more  than 
the  act  of  seeing  is  the  eye,  no  more  than  giving  goods  to  be 
burned  is  lovo. 

i^.  TluMi  we  an*  not  to  pray  for  graces,  if  there  be  no  such 
thing  to  be  found  in  the  heart  of  saints ;  but  (Ps.  Ii.  10,)  David 
prays,  **  Cn»ate  in  me  a  clt»an  heart :  *'  now,  if  it  l>e  a  thing  cre- 
atetl  in  me,  it  is  not  the  Spirit  only  in  me,  for  that  can  not  be 


JBltB 

Vtar  I 

■    Ueaa 


THE   TEN    VIRGINS.  271 

led.     I  doubt  not  but  Dnvid  hod  a  clean  heart,  but  be  fell  in 
:  and,  therefore,  look  as  there  needs  a  creating  power  to 
e,  80  there  is  a  creating  power  to  restore  us  again  to  what 
B^  lost. 

4.  Then  the  saints  haye  none  of  tlieir  sins  mottified  ;  for  it  is 
m  with  the  eje,  being  made  lo  see,  if  sight  goes  out,  darkness 

8  in,  and  if  that  be  subdued,  sight  is  renewed.  So  the  soul 
being  made  only  for  God,  and  to  bear  bis  image,  blot  out  that 
darkness  and  sin  comes  in ;  cast  out  sin,  the  I^ord  and  his  image 
and  graces  tome  in.  If,  therefoi^,  tbere  be  no  graces  in  the 
saints  then  no  sin  mortified  ;  irulj,  if  so,  then  the  end  of  Christ's 
coming  and  dying  is  quite  abolished,  1  John  iii.  8,  anil  Rom. 
Ti.  2,  3. 

5,  Then  the  IiOrd  should  be  false  in  his  covenant,  and  break 
oath  and  be  forsworn  ;  for,  (Jer.  xxxi.  32,)  "I  will  write  my  law 
in  their  hearts."  Luke  i.  73,  74.  So  that  if  you  will  not  believe 
man,  yet  believe  God ;  and  if  jou  will  not  believe  his  word,  yet 
his  oath.  0,  but  many  good  CbrLstians  ftnd  no  sueh  thing.  But 
is  it  BO,  as  they  find  it  indeed?  Either,  then, they  are  no  Chria- 
"ians,  or  ebe  the  Lord  is  forsworn. 

Thirdly.  That  by  the  inward  principle  of  Spirit  and  graces, 
or  lamp  bums  and  shines,  our  actions  issue.  The  Spirit  ena- 
bles a  man  to  know,  and  hence  the  net  flows,  be  doth  know  the 
Lord.  The  Spirit  enables  inwardly  for  lo  love  the  Lord,  and 
hence  it  doth  love  him.  That,  as  Chi-ist  saith,  ■'  A  good  tree 
brings  forth  good  Iruit,"  from  an  inward  sap  received  from  the 
I  soot,  and  by  abiding  on  the  root;  so  here. 

1.  Those  that  are  renewed  to  Adam's  im^e  in  their  measure, 
kftve,  according  to  that  measure,  power  lo  act ;  or  in  those  graces 
is  power  to  act,  for  he  had  power  so  lo  do.     Every  ereii- 
n  the  world  had  a  law  of  nature  to  carry  them  to  (heir  end,  » 
o  were  carried  to  iL     But  Adam  had  a  law  of  divinity, 
(tereby  he,  being  a  cause  by  counsel,  was  enabled  by  God  to 
pAury  himself  toward  his  end.     Now,  we  ore  renewed  to  that 
image  in  parti  {Eph.  iv.  24;)  I  know  there  is  difference  be- 
tween Adam's  power  to  act.  which  had  no  faith,  and  ours,  that 
has.     And  do  not  tliink  that  this  doih  advance  natore  and  the 
power  of  man  no  more  than  the  ezceiition  of  the  promise  of  the 
covenant  of  grace  doth  destroy  grace  and  advance  nature.     For 
the  writing  again  the  law  in  our  hearts  is  that  which  this  cove- 
jjant  promiseth ;  nay,  this  doth  honor  the  riche*  of  gr.ice,  that  a 
^_-man  being  under  the  power  of  sin,  and  can  not  get  deliv 
^^Ute  Lord  should  now  give  a  bumble,  conquering  spirit ; 
^^K  precious  heart  but  will  be  tliankful  for  it. 


87S  THE  PAHASLE   OF 


I 


I 


!  grawB  in  us  are  receiTed  from  the  Lord  Jems 
his  fullncsa.  John  i.  16.  Now,  the  graces  in  Christ  are  not  dead, 
but  living  ;  arc  not  weak,  but  powerful;  the  Spirit  of  grace  is 
now  triumphiDg  in  him,  it  is  so  in  us  only ;  it  is  in  him  in  the 
highest  degree,' in  us  in  a  lower.  And  therein  cousists  our  like- 
ness to  Christ.  2  Cor.  iii.  18.  And  to  deny  this  is  to  deface  the 
image  of  the  Lord  Jesus.  Without  Christ  a  Christian  can  do 
nolbingi  but  how  doth  Christ  do  all  by  the  Spirit  without  graces? 
(I  speak  not  of  conversion  where  it  is  without  graces  as  cftuses.) 
No,  truly  ;  as  he  acts,  so  we  act  in  pari.  Unless  any  will  say. 
We  have  not  received  grace  for  grace,  or  are  in  no  measure  like 
the  image  of  Christ. 

S.  If  the  first  Adam  has  conveyed  to  all  his  members  a  power 
of  corruption,  then  the  second  Adam  also  a  power  of  godliness 
contrary  to  that;  (2  Tim,  iii.  5  ;)  yet  in  measure  still,  so  as  the 
apostle  sailh,  *'  We  can  do  nothing  against  the  truth,  but  far  the 

■    truth."  2  Cor.  xiii.  8. 

Queit,  But  what  measure  of  power  is  it  ? 
Ans.  I  know  no  man  that  can,  from  any  ground,  limit  the 
measure  of  it.  For  it  may  be  in  some  men  in  greater  power,  in 
some  men  in  lees ;  in  the  name  man,  at  one  lime,  in  a  greater 
measure,  at  another  time  less.  If  one  ask  of  trees,  what  meas- 
ure of  fruit  ihey  can  bring  forth,  we  can  not  tell,  because  some- 
time more,  eometime  less ;  and  the  same  tree  more  one  year 
than  another,  and  more  at  one  time  of  the  year  than  another; 
for  they  have  their  winter  season.  Only  this,  whereas  before 
conversion  he  is  stark  dead  to  act,  now  he  is  alive,  and  is  not 
dead.  And  if  a  man  should,  after  conversion,  be  but  in  the 
next  disposition  to  receive  grace,  then  how  could  one  Christian 
be  more  grown  and  stronger  in  grace  in  his  inner  man  than  an- 

.  other?  I  know  not  any  to  question  this,  only  I  speak  it  to  cut  • 
off  their  carnal  hopes,  tbat  think  Christ  ia  theirs,  when  they  hara  I 
nothing,  can  do  nothing,  and  elightly  say,  lie  must  do  all ;  I  can  d 
not.  I  tell  you  the  saints  can;  they  can  not  but  love  the  Lord,  J 
and  choose  the  Lord,  etc.  J 

r~  ObjeH.  I.  But  must  not  a  Christian  deny  himself,  and  alws^fl 
go  to  Christ  for  power  to  do,  and  so  be  humble  and  empty  ? 

Ann.  1.  You  must,because  this  is  the  means  to  " 
hut  this  does  not  argue  you  have  no  power  at  all. 
pray  for  his  "  daily  bread,"  much  more  for  "  daily  grace ; ' 
does  this  argue  a  man  has  no  bread  in  his  house  ?  No  ;  this  i 
tlie  means  to  have  it  continued  and  blessed.  Easily  can  the  Lo 
.  take  away  bread,  or  the  slaif  of  bread.  Graces  eslinguish  t 
\  faith,  but  help  iU 


THE  TE.V   VIRGINS.  273 


2.  A  Christian  can  do  no  dutj  perfectlj,  hence  must  repair  to 
Christ  lo  help  him  to  do  every  duty  Letter ;  hence,  though  he 
must  use  that  power  he  has,  and  do  what  be  can,  yet  he  must  not 
coDlent  himself  with  what  lie  has,  but  seek  for  more  ;  and  what 
a  sweet  life  is  Ihb  I  ^Vhat  honor  would  here  come  in  ?  God 
lets  in  B  new  light  into  my  mind,  now  I  may  and  must  see  his 
truth;  I  saw  it  yesterday,  but  I  may  and  must  go  to  Christ  to 
do  it  better ;  I  must  not  quench  the  spirit  of  prayer,  but  carry 
the  key  with  me,  and  next  day  pra,y  better.  And  thus  the  soul 
is  thankful  for  what  it  has,  and  emptying  itself  notwithstanding 
that,  and  daily,  then,  receiving  from  Christ.  And  I  believe 
many  Christians  fail  here.  Aa  in  the  body  meat  feeds  and 
etrengthens  life,  so  I  cnn  not  live  without  Christ. 

Object.  2.  But  does  not  this  make  a  mnn  trust  to  graces  ? 

Aru.  To  act  from  thciu  is  not  to  trust  t(]  them,  no  more  than 
for  a  diligent  hand  to  trust  to  his  diligence  when  he  acts  dili- 
gently that  so  he  may  be  rich, 

Objecl.  3.  But  does  not  this  dishonor  grace  to  do  all  by  the 
power  of  it  ? 

Aiu,  Then  the  saints  in  heaven  that  are  made  perfectly  like 
Christ,  and  that  love  the  Lord  perfectly,  should  not  honor  grace 
by  this  means,  when  as  this  is  it  that  makes  them  honor  it  most 
of  alL  As  David,  Lord,  what  am  I,  and  my  people,  that  we 
ihould  offer  willingly  ?  so  here. 


Section  II. 
Vie  1.  See,  hence,  what  cause  of  thankfulness  to  all  the  peo- 
ple of  God  that  the  Lord  should  make  their  souls  the  vessels 
(which  he  might  easily  and  justly  have  dashed  in  pieces)  to  re- 
ceive and  presen-c  this  eternal  anointing.  I  do  believe  there  is 
no  man  that  knows  the  bitterness  of  sin,  the  plague  of  his  own 
heart,  but  when  he  sees  Christ  is  his,  yet  it  makes  him  mourn 
ihat  there  should  be  so  little  suitableness  between  the  Lord  and 
him,  so  little  likeness  between  his  life  and  Christ's;  what  though 
the  Lord  love  me,  and  yet  my  heart  weary  of  him  ?  what  though 
the  Lord  bless  me,  and  my  heart  abuse  him  ?  and  hence  Uiis 
makes  it  thankful.  Rom.  vii.  24,  25.  This  is  so  far  fi-om  dis- 
honoring grace,  as  that  the  apostle  makes  this  the  matter  of  ad- 
miration of  God's  grace ;  (Eph.  iL  3,  A,)  "  God,  who  is  rich  in 
mercy,  when  dead  in  sins,  has  quickened  us."     Not  only  quick- 

Ked  our  bead,  (tor  hence  is  cause  of  eternal  praise,)  but  us ; 
d  hence  he  has  us  set  up  "  in  heavenly  places  in  him."     This 


I 


274  the:  parable  op 

that  the  Lord  aliould  help  when  lUl  creatures  left  us  is 
ful ;  but  that  it  should  bu  with  such  a  life,  even  the  life  of  Chi 
Jesus  himstif ;  for  the  same  Spirit  that  raised  him  from  the 
dwells  ia  us.  1  Pet.  v.  I.  This  is  merc^,  indeed  ;  that  he  should 
not  only  die  for  us,  and  live  in  heaven  for  us,  but  that  he  ehoald 
love'so  dearly  as  to  come  and  live  in  us ;  that,  when  our  «iu 
hod  slain  him,  he  should  not  only  come  and  dwell  in  our  houses, 
nor  only  lay  hia  bead  in  our  bosom,  but  live  in  our  hearts,  when 
he  finds  euch  poor  welcome  and  ill  entertainment  at  our  handfc 
I  tell  you  this  is  wonderful,  to  make  his  habitation  in  us,  tha^ 
before  we  go  to  hve  with  him,  he  should  live  in  us;  let  them 
that  never  knew  what  this  meant  refutte  to  be  thankful,  but  if 
you  find  it  so,  forget  not  this  love ;  (John  xiv.  17,)  *'  I  will  send 
the  Spirit,  whom  the  world  can  not  receive,  because  it  knows  hin 
not."  The  Lord  sends  the  Spirit  in  common  graces,  and  the 
world  does  receive  that  also  in  prophetical  and  miracnlous  gift%  , 
and  it  does  receive  that ;  but  this  Spirit  which  God  pours  on  the 
thirsty,  this  Spirit  with  r^hich  God  fills  the  empty,  they  can  not 
receive  this.  0  that  you  should  have  it,  when  as  Ihey  know 
it  notl 

1.  Hence,  therefore,  take  heed  of  not  owning  the  Spirit  is 
this  his  presence.  Do  you  thus  requite  the  Lord,  O  unthankfnl 
world ;  not  so  much  as  to  own  the  presence  of  such  a  friend^ 
neither  in  yourselves,  nor  yet  in  others?  How  like  the  world  ia 
it  to  think  that  there  is  no  such  thing ! 

2.  Take  heed,  therefore,  of  not  esteeming  highly  of  it.  If 
ever  God  broke  ihy  heart,  thou  wilt  esteem  this  life,  fhb  princi- 
ple, as  the  greatest  piece  of  love ;  and  say.  Lord,  I  shall  account 
this  as  the  greatest  part  of  love  in  the  world ;  (Fs.  cxix.  68,) 
"  Thou  art  good ;  O,  teach  me  thy  statutes."  Now,  to  undervaltra 
this,  and  to  account  it  common,  and  hence  as  no  sign  of  love,  it 
is  a  part  of  unthonkfulness. 

3.  Take  heed  of  imprisoning  the  Spirit  of  grace,  common  tmtlb 
Bom.  i.  IS.  It  were  fearful  to  imprison  and  silence  that,  miuA 
more  this.  It  was  the  complaint  of  the  church  in  those  dny^ 
"None  stirs  up  himself."  Is.  Ixiv.  7.  What  strength  the  Lord.' 
gives,  let  me  nse  ;  what  I  want,  the  Lord  has  enough  to  help 
withal ;  put  it  to  exercise,  or  else  afBiction  will. 

4.  Take  heed  of  weakening  and  enfeebling  this  principle ;  Hie 
church  of  Sardis'  thuigs  were  ready  to  die  in  it ;  you  should 
strengthen  this  inner  man,  not  weaken  it,  either  by  not  feeding 
it  with  Christ,  or  wounding  it  with  known  sin  ogainxt  CbrisL 
Therefore,  let  all  the  churclies  know  this,  and  take  heed  that 

-  do  not  refuse  to  own  this :  where  else  will  you  make  the  diffe 


I 


THE   TEN   VniGINS. 


275 


«ce  between  men,  that  either  choruhes  may  discern  them,  or 
JOB  maj  (liacem  them,  and  so  have  peace  yourselves  P 

Hence  see  the  reawD  of  that  inward  hypocrisy  that  is  in 
nicD**  hearts,  to  that  the  best  profession  of  many  a  man  is  but  a 
^i.'heme,  an  image,  a  very  craA,  a  very  artiAeial  form  ;  all  the 
4uuca  are  lair  wilhout,  but  sapless,  lifelesa  within ;  here  is  the 
rraAon,  they  have  no  inward  principle  of  life,  or  if  they  do  go 
to  Christ,  they  have  no  such  principle  within  them  to  carry  them 
to  him,  »o  as  to  receive  life  from  him ;  and  hence  confess  sin  i 
WTllioat  sorrow  or  sbame,  petition  without  Iliirsting,  live  wilhout 
love,  do  wilhout  life,  because  there  is  no  spring,  but  a  dry  heart 
within ;  and  hence  they  roust  do  duty,  but  they  must  make  dead 
work  of  it,  and  hence  all  is  but  an  appearance,  and  al  Iwst  but  a 
would  be.  This  Is,  in  a  great  measure,  in  saints,  when  the 
spirit  wiibin  is  quenched,  but  it  is  in  full  age  and  strength  in 
hypocritical  hearts  ;  (Jer,  iv,  14,)  when  the  profession  of  Judah 
waa  great,  and  the  prophets  hod  scarce  any  thing  to  say  agfunst 
them  for  outside,  "  O  Jerusalem,  wash  thy  heart  from  wicked- 
neas ; "  there  thy  woe  lies,  it  enters  ts  the  very  heart ;  so 
Christ,  "  How  can  he  that  is  evil  bring  forth  good  fruit  ?  "  And 
this  is  that  which  may  make  men  mourn :  if  I  forsake  all  pro- 
feuioD,  I  shame  myself  before  men ;  if  not,  I  must  blaspheme 
the  Lord's  name,  and  play  the  hypocrite  before  the  Lord.  Uatt. 
xiL  33-35.^ 

Section  IU. 

Cm  3.  To  take  heed  of  denying  the  grace  of  God,  or  this 
inward  principle,  in  whole  or  in  part;  for  this  inward  principle 
being  the  life  of  Christ  In  us,  to  deny  this  is  to  deny  Christ,  and 
to  take  away  his  life ;  and  such  the  Lord  will  deny  before  his 
angels  another  day :  when  lliey  shall  say, ''  Have  we  not  eat 
and  dnmk  in  tliy  presence  ?  "  he  shall  answer,  "  I  never  knew 
Tou."     I  shall,  therefore,  direct  my  speech  to  four  sorts, 

FirtLiTo  those  that  deny  created  graces  in  the  saints  peculiwj 
In  them  only.  It  is  said  there  are  none  such  in  the  country ;  if  I 
there  are  not,  it  may  be  there  have  been,  and  it  may  be  will  be; 
and,  therefore,  I  wiU  speak  ;  for  I  believe  it  is  H  delusion  d^sged  I 
and  hatched  out  of  the  steam  of  the  lowest  sink  of  hoU  ;japd,  [ 
therefore,  that  all  may  take  heed  of  the  evil  of  it,  I  wiUf  firoT* 
abow  the  evil  of  it,  then  the  causes  that  do  beget  iL 

].  The  evils  of  this  delusion  are  these  :  — 

I.  It  settles  and  fastens  a  man  under  the  power  of  nil  his  sm, 
and  yet  with  a  quiet  conscience,  and  yet  to  keep  his  Clirist,  toor 
ll   tnuwxnds  my  capad^  from  whatever  I  have  read,  or  have 


Itfaflrffl 


Ueard,  or  have  felt,  or  can  imagine,  liow  the  power  of  ^in  ean  be 
t&kcn  away,  but  where  the  Spirit  iDfu^elh  the  conlrar^-  graces 
Kii  eiuply  bouse,  anept  and  gamiahcd  with  common  gifts,  i 
but  a  lilting  house  for  Satao  to  return  into ;  say,  therefort^  ■ 
man  may  have  no  such  graces,  and  j'et  have  Christ,  and  tlu 
in  Christ,  you  slake  this  man  down  under  his  sin,  and  make  t] 
membi^r  of  Salan  a  member  of  Christ  Jesus ;  and,  upon  thb 
ground,  all  churches  in  th(!  land  may  be  forced  in  conscience  to 
take  in  all  profane  niemberB,  if  they  plead  Christ,  and  their 
allness  in  him. 

2.  This  blurs  all  the  glory  of  a  Christian,  or  at  least  tlw 
greatest  part  of  it ;  for  what  is  the  glory  of  a  saint  ?  It  is  t* 
like  Jesus  Christ,  the  Lord  of  glory,  to  bear  his  image  befUM 
God  and  men.  As  to  see  a  man  with  a  swine's  face  would  to 
the  sbnme  of  a  man,  to  see  a  Christian  wiiU  Satan's  image  il 
the  shame  of  a  Christian  ;  but  to  be  like  our  head,  this  is  ottt 
glory,  though  it  be  in  sufferings,  (2  Cor.  iii.  18,)  heavenly,  hum- 
ble, compassionate,  holy,  as  he  was ;  and  hence,  when  God  hi 
a  mind  to  make  churches  or  Christians  base  in  the  eyes  of  tl 
world,  he  will  withdraw  here  ;  and  when  he  intends  to  draw  ll 
world  after  him,  he  will  glorify  it  with  his  glory.  Is.  Ix.  6,  7. 

3,  It  cuts  off  a  Christian  irom  alt  hope  of  glory :  how  maMF 
be  there  that  scramble  and  catch  nt  Christ,  and  every  one  Etu1% 
He  is  mine ;  the  proud  man  saith.  He  is  mine,  and  hopes  noW 
verily  to  be  saved,  hut  that  hope  is  in  vain ;  lliey  have  Christ  ODt 
of  them,  but  where  is  Christ  in  them  ?  The  life  of  Christ,  oaA 
the  Spirit  of  Christ  ?  (Col.  i.  27,)  "  Christ  in  you,  the  hope  at. 
glory." 

i.  Give  me  but  one  place  in  all  the  book  of   God,  i 
blessedness  is  bestowed  upon  or  conveyed  unio  anv.  or  proJ 
but  to  such  as  have  these  graces ;  "  Blessed  if 
Lord,  and  greatly  delightelh,"  etc.  Ps.  cxii, 
no  sucli  thing,  let  any  man  expect  it  il'  be  ca 

U.  The  causes. 

1.  A  magnifying  Christ,  and  making  him  our  eanctificatkd^ 

when  as  you  heard  the  last  day,  this  is  to  deny  bira  to  be  oat 

t~8hnclification.     He  becomes  our  righteousness  by  imputation  of  J 

Ibis  holiness,  and  our  sanctifi  cation  by  infusing  of  il.     Nay,  hence 

^"man  deprives  himself  of  all  gooil  in  the  Lord  Jesus,  when  a 

man  denies  all  grace  in  himself,  and  then  Hies  for  sanctuary  unto 

Jesus  Christ ;  (1  John  i.  G,  7,)  "  If  we  say  we  have  fellowship 

with  him,  and  walk  in  darkness,  we  lie,"  etc-.     And  hence  U_ 

seems  they  denied  men  to  have  sin,  (ver.  8,)  boasting  of  fellt 

ship  with  Christ.  Ver.  6. 


If  there  I 


THE   TEN    VIIIGISS.  2l  i 

?-  Because  there  are  (say  men)  only  immediate  at-linga  of 

^'i  Spirit.     If  this  be  bo,  then  there  is  seeing  Jti  a  Christian 

"iiliaui  an  eye,  and  hcariog  nitliout  an  ear,  aixl  knowing  Christ 

*iilioui  an  UDiierstADding,  and  loving  without  love,  and  living 

villunt  life,  and  feeding  and  eating  without  a  mouth  ;  and  then, 

■hoi  these  actings  are  over,  a  Christian  is  like  another  man ; 

'here  is  no  lavr  remains  written  on  hia  heart,  and  so  Christ 

itiould  enter  into  his  saints,  like  Satan  into  the  serpent,  who  only 

icu  [he  serpent,  and  when  that  is  dotic,  he  remains  a  aerpeiiL 

a^in.     Know  it,  the  Lord  Jesus  his  greatest  work  is  not  only  tol 

chiiDge  the  acts,  but  to  change  the  heart ;  not  only  to  pat  newi 

actions,  but  a  new  nature  into  men.  J 

S.  Because  men  know  not  the  Spirit,  never  felt  the  presence. 

Bur  power,  nor  comfort  of  it  themseWea  ;  and  hence  men  do  as 

Mtme  coiiniries,  because  tliemselves  are  black,  they  paint  the 

deril  white;  (John  liv.  17,)  "  The  world  can  not  receive,  be- 

tause  it  knows  him  not."     Give  me  any  Christian  living  that 

ever  found  the  sweetness  of  it,  but  his  longings  were  to  have 

more  of  that  grace,  to  "  forgot  things  behind,  and  reach  to  things 

before,  even  to  the  resurrection  of  the  dead,"  whom  1  beheve 

Done  will  say  want  all  habiid  of  grace.     I  look  upon  the  opinion 

■s  coming  with  a  curse  from  God.     A  man  bath  been  a  dry  pro- 

le«Mr  long,  conscience  s^tli,  there  is  no  grace  in  the  heart,  and 

licnce  b  troubled ;  true,  saith  he,  there  is  none  in  saints,  it  ia  in 

Christ,  and  there  he  cateheth  and  deceives  himself. 

Sectnuiljf.  Those  that  do  acknowledge  tliem,  but  any  power  or 
kctivity  in  them  they  deny  ;  they  say  there  is  oil,  indeed,  in  the 
TeMel,  but  it  helps  not,  it  is  no  means  to  make  the  lamp  to  bum 
or  shine  ;  there  is  the  life  of  Christ,  but  it  is  a  dead  life  ;  they 
oJl  them  the  graces  of  Christ,  but  they  are  but  fruitless  graces. 
I  confess  it,  if  you  consider  them  without  ihe  Spirit  of  Christ, 
they  ftre  no  true  graces,  much  less  active  or  living  ones  ;  but 
oooiuder  them  thus :  they  have  a  power,  as  take  the  least  grain 
of  corn,  there  is  a  growing  power  in  it,  and  fructifying  too  in  it, 
by  dying  first,  though  it  actually  doth  not  fructify  presently,  and 
though  there  must  be  rain,  and  sun  must  shine  aim,  and  a  provi- 
Anoe  accompanying  of  it ;  so  it  is  in  tlie  graces  of  saints.  And 
fcenoe  it  is  called  a  "Jaw  of  the  mind;"  there  is  a  power  of  a 
hw,  OS  of  sin  ;  and  hence,  as  Christ  grew  in  wisdom  and  stature, 
•o  all  the  members  of  Christ  arc  like  unto  him. 
I.  The  evil  of  this. 

1.  ITiii  abates  of  the  excellency  of  grace,  as  from  a  jewel  lo 
take  away  the  operative  virtue  of  it.     For  it  is  not  like  Christ's 
Mw,  which  b  strong  through  God,  not  weak  i  which  is  living, 
vot.  U.  24 


L 


I 


I 


278  1 

not  dead.  This  ia  not  like  the  glorious  graces  of  saints  trininjA- 
ing.  This  makea  the  graces  of  saints  of  less  excellency  tliiu 
common  graces  ;  comnioD  grace  will  make  a  mac  ride  over  mmj 
B  sin,  and  run  exceeding  fast,  though  he  fall  at  Inst.  A  tata 
that  hath  been  angry,  it  will  make  him  very  quiet  and  still;  md 
is  there  no  more  power  in  this  ? 

2.  This  will  make  a  man  content  himself  with  a  bare  form, 
willi  a  false  coQ&dence,  if  this  be  true.  For  take  a  man  that 
hatli  been  long  seeking  to  get  Btrength  ag^nst  a  vile  heart,  aod 
he  finds  none  i  there  is  no  power  of  heavenlincss,  he  is  earthy; 
no  meekness,  he  is  proud  :  I  would  say  to  him,  Do  you  ever 
think  to  get  any  power  of  meekness,  love,  faith,  etc  ?  You  shall 
never  do  it,  never  have  it  here  ;  all  your  strength  is  immediately 
from  Clirist ;  look  for  it  there  ;  in  conscience  a  man  must  cease 
,  tliere.  And  it  is  certain  all  our  strength  is  in  and  from  the 
'  Lord  ;  but  it  is  dispensed  mediately  ;  (Eph.  iji.  16,)  Paul  prAy> 
"  he  may  be  strengthened  with  might  in  the  inner  man."  Or, 
thug,  a  man  may  not  pray  for  strength  of  grace,  which  Paul 
refused  not. 

8.  Then  the  saints,  if  they  be  asked  whether  they  believe  <w 
can  love  the  Lord  Jesus,  l:ieir  answer  must  be,  No,  I  have  no 
power  to  love  nor  believe  ;  and  then  Peter  did  ill  to  answer  bo^ 
"  Lord,  thou  knowest  thut  I  love  thee."  Then,  Paul  to  eajfi 
"  We  can  do  nothing  but  for  the  truth."  Then,  that  marlyiv. 
that  to  them  that  said,  "  The  Lord  strengthen  you  ;"  Yes,  saith> 
he,  the  Lord  doth.  I  know,  if  the  Lord  witlidraw  hie  Spirit,  KQ 
are  gone,  as  Adam  ;  but  is  there  not  the  immutable  assistance  of 
it?  Is  there  not  the  promise,  "  I  will  never  leave  thee,"  tbon^ 
sometimes  weaker,  sometimes  stronger  ? 

4.  This  will  make  a  Christian  hide  and  not  improve  his  ta]^   I 
entfl  i  he  has  grace,  but  no  power  to  put  it  forth.     Then,  suppose 
God  gives  power  to  see  truth  one  day,  I  must  not  see  it  with 
this  eye  the  next ;  but  look  up  to  Christ,  and  say,  1  can  not  see 
at  all. 

IL  Causes  of  tliia. 

1.  In  opposing  the  outward  principle  of  life,  or  first  prindplqijl 
and  this  second,  I  must  live  on  Christ ;  hence  I  must  not,  I  havtn 
no  power  to  act  myself,  in  any  measure,  because  all  my  strengtan 
is  in  him.  When,  if  this  were  true,  a  man  might  argue,  bccaurtfl 
all  grace  is  originally  in  Christ,  hence  no  grace  in  me,  becaiia 
all  glory  is  in  Christ  originally ;  heniio  no  glory  slinll  be  c 
veyed  to  me.  No,  this  scripture  reconciles  these  :  "  Because  ] 
live,  therefore  you  aliall  live  also."  John  xiv.  19. 
Christ  is  strong,  Lence  he  will  make  us  strong  in  the 


THE   TEN   VlHGItJS.  279 

and  not  in  ibe  spirit  only  ;  because  Clirist  is  glorious,  hence  we 
BTC  predestinated  "  to  be  made  like  unto  Iiim."  Because  all  sup 
lift!  in  ihe  root,  to  say.  therefore,  tliere  is  no  sap  or  power  in  the 
bnioch  to  fructify,  this  is  false. 

i.  The  hj-pocritical  activity  of  false  professors,  who,  having 
BO  ipring  to  feed  their  nells,  no  Christ,  nor  bucket  to  draw  from 
bim,  hence  are  their  own  men,  and  set  up  for  themselves,  till 
ttiey  turn  bankrupts.  And,  now,  because  a  Pharisee  is  so  active 
u  to  go  through  sea  and  land  to  make  a  proselyte,  therefore 
Pkul  has  DO  activity  of  grace  of  Christ  in  him  to  go  from  land 
l«  sea  to  moke  Christians. 

3.  Sloth.  A  man  sets  upon  a  duty ;  and,  now,  because  he  can 
but  do  it  easily  nor  quickly,  he  can  not  do  it  at  all.  A  man 
would  have  grace  aetiTe  without  means  ;  and  God  will  not  help 
ID  that  way ;  aad  hence  many  Christians  can  not  cleave  to 
Christ  by  love  or  desire  ;  no,  so  long  as  they  pore  upon  their 
Mtate,  no  encoumgement,  but  turn  the  mind,  and  consider  well 
of  the  love  and  glory  of  Christ,  then  with  Paul,  (2  Cor.  v.  14,) 
"  Christ's  love  constraiueth." 

4.  Judging  that  to  be  the  power  of  grace  at  all  limes,  which 
is  St  sometimes  ;  &  man  has  given  special  occasion  for  the  Lord 
to  leave  liim,  as  the  camp  in  Joshua's  time,  (Josh,  vii.,)  and  he 
thinks  there  is  no  more  power  at  any  time  in  any  man.  For 
then  a  man  sees  all  the  world  can  nut  help,  when  if  Achan  were 
removed,  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  would  return  again. 

',  That  hereby  a  man  may  have  his  sins  without  trouble  ;  for 
aa  bas  been  troubled,  and  can  not  get  power,  now  he  hears 
there  b  no  such  power  to  be  expected,  he  looks  to  Christ,  and  if 
power  come,  well,  if  not,  saith  he,  it  is  not  my  fault. 

Thirdty.  Those  that  deny  the  evidence  of  it,  the  evil  of  which 
apprehension  I  conceive  to  be  no  less  than  taking  away  that 
Yhkli  is  the  chief,  if  not  only  difference  between  hypocrites  and 
Mints  in  virgin  churches ;  for  so  it  is  made  here.  A  man  saith, 
I  have  Christ,  and  so  have  not  ihey.  I  a^k.  Where  is  the  Spirit  ? 
Ton  have  the  deed,  where  is  the  seal?  You  have  the  testator, 
vliere  i>  the  executor,  (he  spirit  in  you  ?  Tes,  I  have  it ;  it  has 
witnessed  Christ  b  mine. 

Ant.  It  has  witnessed,  but  what  has  it  wrought  ?  Where  ia 
Ibe  power  of  his  death  killing  thy  lusts  ?  Where  ia  the  life  of 
the  Spirit  of  Jesus  in  you  ?  Wliere  is  the  oil  in  your  vessel  ? 
Truly,  I  look  for  the  bridegroom,  but  I  regard  not  that,  neither 
■re  others  to  regard  it  in  way  of  evidence.  Then,  I  say,  the 
eliief  eridence  is  destroyed  in  the  churches.  I  have  known  many 
that  had  assuraocee,  yet  never  saw  them  prove  right,  till  it 


L 


J 


I 


a  though  it  waa  buildiag  on  works  ?    In  s 


■eral  t 


1  they  are 


n  the  truth,  and  to  fall 
jen  there  bo  tliat  fall 
1  and  from  him  i  and, 


I 


r  l./An  aptneaa  in  men's  hearts  b 
from  one  extreme  to  another.  Manj  n 
ehort  of  Christ,  and  the  grace  of  God  in 
from  their  loose,  profane  life,  fall  to  duties,  and  imitate  God's 
people ;  and  then,  when  they  have  got  credit  with  good  people, 
they  judge  well  of  them.  And  having  made  their  peaee  hereby 
with  conscience,  and  not  with  God,  the  Judge,  never  look  after 
the  saving  knowledge  of,  and  fellowship  with,  and  life  from,  the 

E'^  "Td  Jesus.  Now,  because  men  rest  on  this,  these  duties  are  no 
dence ;  hence  none  are  at  all.  j  The  Corinthiana  first  mourned 
for  the  incestuous  person  ;  and,  when  cast  out,  wanted  pity 
toward  him.  Calvin  preached  agtunst  holidays,  hence  intrenched 
u]X)n  the  Lord's  day.  Some  of  the  separation  see  many  churches 
where  they  have  become  corrupt,  hence  make  them  all  no  churches. 
A  man  is  apt  to  think.  Because  I  have  rested  on  myself,  and 
found  those  signs  which  now  are  not  sound,  hence  others  do  go 
loo.  And  I  believe  divers  books  have  occasioned  it,  which  give 
signs  that  will  not  hold  without  a  fuller  explication  of  them. 

2.  The  apostasy  of  eminent  professors,  who  have  been  deceived 
in  their  evidencing  thus.  And  truly  it  would  make  one  think 
the  honesty  of  the  world  is  but  a  fashion,  and  no  evidence  of  any 
good  estate ;  hence  men  say  you  have  joy,  so  had  the  atony 
ground ;  you  arc  blameless  and  strict,  so  was  Paul  a  Pharisee  i 
and  Satan  hereby  shakes  many  a  soul.  Hence  the  apostle  cornea 
in,  (Heb.  vi.  9,}  and  speaks  of  better  things,  and  things  that 
accompany  salvation,  and  these  should  you  follow.  Hymeneus 
and  Philelus  fell  both.  2  Tim.  ii.  18-21 .  Tet  purge  yourselves, 
and  you  shall  be  vessels  of  honor  for  the  Master's  use. 

3.  Corrupt  experience.     It  may  be  a  man  walks  so  loosely, 
without  feor,  or  life,  or  love,  that  the  Loi-d  leaves  him,  and  be 
can  see  no  clear  thorough  work  ;  sometimes  has  pangs  and  then 
hopes  ;  sometime  dead,  then  doubts.     Hence;  being  vexed  bere, 
and  finding  no  peace,  if  he  find  it  any  other  way  than  this,  there 
he  rests.     As  it  is  observed  with  men,  clothes  bide  their  shame: 
but  when  dead,  their  face  is  also  covered,  all  their  glory  being  i 
then  gone.     Ho  some  glory  of  God  appears  here ;  but  when  J 
Cliristions  are  dend,  they  cover  this  ;  I  will  look  no  more  to  iVl 
all  the  glory  of  it  is  now  gone,  and  here  lies  a  deceit  to  lovej 
Christ  for  freeing  mo  from  this  w;iy  of  evidencing. 

4.  A  heart  that  never  fell  die  bitterness  and  bondage  of  s 


I 


THE  TEN 

"  the  greatest  evil.     Take  s  man  full  of  fears  of  wratli ;  0,  now 
I       *»orw]ce  is  Lis  chiefest  good,  and  he  will  account  it  so;  but  if 
tnr  God  did  load  the  bouI  witU  sin,  e  contra,  you  will  account 
of  delirerance  from  this  highly ;  nay,  a  promise  he  will  do,  it  ia 
fnet;  but  Ut  be  feeling  those  sinews  of  sin  cmck,  0,  it  ia  the 
joy  of  heaven  that  now  fills  that  heart  l/Tbe  greatest  evil  m\ 
God's  eyes  is  sin ;  the  greatest  good  we  have  is  redemption  from 
it  by  a  mighty  hand,  i  Now,  not  so  much  as  to  account  of  tliisj 
fcighly,  this  is  hard.    Thus  I  have  left  these  things  to  be  thought 
of;  I  can  not  avoid  it,  it  lies  in  my  text ;  and  the  rather,  because 
of  that  scripture  abused,  "  If  any  say,  Lo,  here  is  Christ,  or 
there,  beUeve  it  not,"  L  e.,  by  signs ;  or,  in  a  wilderness,  i.  e., 
ia  a  sorrowful  estate ;  or,  in  the  privy  chambers  in  frames  of 
heart,  believe  it  not  neither.     Take  heed  you  do  not  wrest  scrip- 
tures thus.     It  is  said,  "  Esau  hated  Jacob  for  the  blessing." 
Gen.  xxvii.  41.     This  Spirit  of  grace  is  the  blessing  which 
siunts  acconnt  as  the  evidence  of  the  dearest  love;  to  separate 
from  churches,  from  messengers  of  God,  for  this  will  yield  you 
sorrow  enough  one  day.     I  tell  you,  you  shall  not  be  found 
"  lighters  against  men,  but  against  God,"  and  the  Spirit  of  his 
grace,  and  the  life  of  him  who  lives  in  heaven  for  us.    Take 
heed  you  forget  not  oil  in  your  vessels. 

Fourthly.  Those  that  acknowledge  in  their  judgments  all  these 
things,  but  deny  it  in  their  lives ;  regard  not  the  having  this 
principle  of  life,  and  have  peace  in  tins,  from  a  double  ground. 

1.  By  a  fruitless  faith,  which  hangs  on  Christ;  but  never 
receives  nor  brings  in  this  principle,  aa  those,  John  ii.  24,  35 ; 
and  hence,  though  they  receive  none,  yet  they  hang  on  him. 
And  BO  their  faith,  like  a  bucket  without  a  bottom,  draws  up 
nothing. 

2.  A  form  of  godliness  before  men.  If  a  man  should  neither 
speak  well,  nor  pray,  etc,  lie  would  have  no  love,  no  respect, 
no  receiving  into  church ;  but  he  can  not  do  it  with  life,  and 
hence  a  form  contents  him,  and  there  rests.  So  that  now,  if 
conscience  troubles,  and  says.  Those  duties  arc  done  with  no  life 
of  Ctuist  and  Spirit,  he  answers,  Yet  i  go  to  Christ.  If  this  be 
bU.  why  do  you  not  cast  off  your  form?  0,  then,  I  should  have 
no  love  from  men  I  O,  this  life  of  Christ  is  not  prized,  till,  with 
those  virgins,  they  feel  tLe  want  of  it,  and  it  is  too  late,  know  this 
will  be  your  woe  at  lost.  Look  upon  thy  dead  soul ;  all  the  glory 
is  gone ;  and  wait  upon  the  word,  that  the  Lord  may  make  thee 
live.  Could  you  know  this  well  of  water  and  ask,  he  would  give 
it  yon.  O,  beg  for  it,  then,  aa  for  your  life.  Only  seek  it  in 
Christ,  and  so  from  Christ. 

24  • 


ff 

I 


Sectios    IV, 

j  ^«  4.  Of  Tn«i.  We  live  in  a  country  whidi  hnth  goodly 
■  trappings,  rich  hangings, glorious  profesiion, burning  lamps:  and. 
hence  many  think  themselves  rich,  when,  indeed,  poor ;  tnnnj'i'.j 
look  to  meet  the  bridegroom,  when,  indeed,  thej  shall  be  shAi 
out  from  the  fellowship  of  the  bridcgnxim.  How  shall  I  know  ' 
tbat?  That  all  my  sorrows,  prayers,  reformation,  profession,  ts 
but  a  paint,  an  appearance,  a  fashion,  a  church  crail,  which  will 
stand  me  in  no  stead  when  the  Lord  shall  appear,  who  shall 
judge  the  secrets  of  all  hearts,  by  the  word  you  hear  this  day; 
try  it,  therefore,  by  this  rule,  does  it  come  from  a  principle  of 
I  life  or  no  ?  Your  lamii  bunts,  but  look  what  is  in  your  Te^el 
V that  feeds  this  flame,  f  Thai,  as  our  div-ines  speak,  how  the  dis- 
ciples could  do  greater  works  than  Clirist,  and  others  wrought 
miracles  besides  Clu-ist;  how,  then,  do  they  prove  that  he 
Christ  ?  It  is  answered,  in  all  his  miraculous  works  we  are  to 
consider  not  only  qiiid  ffcit,  i.  e.,  what  he  did,  but  qua  nrtaU 
feeit,  from  what  power  he  did.  The  apostles  and  others  did 
miracles,  but  it  was  altena  virtute  ;  Christ  did  them,  bat  it  wag 
propria  virtute.  So  many  an  unsound  heart,  he  may  do  greats 
worits  than  saints,  and  his  tump  bum  brighter.  Thcrctbre,  in 
this  case,  we  are  not  to  look  so  mucli  to  what  is  done,  as  from 
what  power  and  principle  it  is  done ;  for  therein  the  best  hypocrite 
ever,  fails.  We  shall  ever  observe  in  some  beasts  there  am 
vmbra  rattonis,  yet  there  is  no  rational  soul,  nor  any  wise  man 
will  believe  that  their  acts  proceed  from  such  a  principle ;  SO' 
there  are  shadows  of  the  power  of  gi'ace  in  a  carnal  heart,  and- 
yet  no  judicious  Christian  will  say  they  come  from  an  inwarj, 
soul  or  principle  of  Ufe.  Consider,  therefore,  wiiether  (here 
this  principle  or  no ;  you  see  there  is  profession,  you  have  • 
name  to  live  in  the  judgment  of  all  the  church,  but  search  your 
hearts,  and  see  from  what  principle  it  proceeds  ;  for,  if  this  bs^ 
nranting,  all  is  nothing,  j  As  he  tbat  had  beer  given  him,  wheaj 
milk  and  wine  and  sugar  were  put  into  it  to  mend  it,  said,  tha 
wine  is  good,  and  the  milk  is  good,  but  the  beer  is  bad  ;  so  pro* 
I  fession,  affection  is  good,  but  the  heart,  Uie  man,  is  bad;/{Jert 
iL  22,}  "  Though  thou  wash  thee  with  nitre,  tliy  sin  is  raarkei- 
before  the  Lonl."  And  tlial  the  trial  may  be  full  and  lair, 
shall  show  negiitively  the  several  sorts  of  men  that  act 

inward  principle,  yet  carry  it  out  as  though  the  bitt^imi 
"  aaill  was  past,  and  the  bridegroom  theirs. 
I  When  a  man's  principlL'  is  nothing  but  the  |K>wer  of  created' 


of  (koilk  w 
I       lAWhei 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  283 

nature  expressing  itself,  and  setting  the  best  face  forward,  in  the 
gilded  rottenness  of  some  moral  performances,  wherein  a  man 
saith  he  does  what  he  can ;  for  there  is  this  principle  in  most  of 
men,  a  desire  to  be  saved ;  nature  saith  so ;  and  according  to  the 
intention  of  this  desire,  so  according  men  will  do  more  or  less ; 
and  hereupon  soothe  up  themselves,  when  they  see  thej  can  not  i 
do  as  others  do,  or  as  the  Lord  commands,  I  do  as  well  as  I  can.  J 
Naj,  when  condemned  bj  the  word  which  mepts  them,  I  do  as 
weU  as  I  can,  I  believe,  I  repent,  I  pray,  I  njmember  the  word, 
I  do  as  well  as  I  can ;  and  so  they  hope  God  accepts  of  that ; 
and  diOQgh  I  believe  no  man  but  may  be  hired  to  do  more  than 
be  does,  yet  nature  may  do  much.     Hence/ 1  heard  an  Armini^H 
ODce  say,  If  faith  will  not  work  it,  then  set  reason  a-work,  and) 
we  know  how  men  have  been  kings  and  lords  over  their  own 
passions  by  improving  reason,  and  from  some  experience  of  the 
power  of  nature  men  have  come  to  write  large  volumes  in  de- 
fence of  it ;  and  it  is  known  the  Arminians,  though  they  ascribe 
somewhat  to  grace,  and  in  words  all  to  grace,  yet,  indeed,  they 
lay  the  main  stress  of  the  work  upon  a  man's  own  will,  and  the  i 
royalty  and  sovereignty  of  that  liberty.     But  to  leave  them,  and] 
to  come  to  ourselves,  is  it  not  a  common  thing  for  men  to  make 
lies  their  refuge,  and  to  say,  I  was  in  a  woful  condition  once, 
and  never  looked  after  God  ;  but  now  I  bless  the  Lord  it  is  oth- 
erwise with  me  ?     How  ?     Now  I  believe,  repent,  etc.     And  so 
I  confess  all  I  do  is  full  of  weaknesses,  yet  I  do  what  I  can ; 
«nd  thus  they  are  like  to  men  that  have  old  garments  new 
dressed,  they  have  made  them  as  good  as  they  can ;  and  like  the 
yonng  man,  (Luke  xviii.  21,)  ^^All  these  things  have  I  done 
from  my  youth ;  yet  one  thing  was  wanting,  which  was  to  for- 
sake all,  and  so  himself,  that  the  disciples  said.  Who  then  can 
be  saved  ?  with  man  it  is  impossible,  but  with  Grod  all  things  are 
possible." 

You  say  you  do  as  much  as  you  can ;  I  say  do  so,  but  it  is 
im[K)6sible  for  man  from  any  strength  of  man,  and  you  have  no 
more  yet ;  (John  i.  13,)  "  Bom  again,  not  of  the  will  of  man, 
but  of  Grod."  There  is  in  some  men  a  birth,  like  to  the  new 
birth,  which  is  of  the  will  and  power  of  man ;  but,  O,  this  is  not 
this  inward  principle  which  the  almighty  power  of  Grod  creates ; 
and  therefore  know  it,  if  you  get  no^other  oil  in  your  lamps,  you 
shall  never  meet  the  bridegroom.  / 

2.  When  a  man's  principle  is  the  power  of  holy  example, 
whereby  many  a  one  is  drawn  to  do  more  than  otherwise  he 
would.  Many  men  think  for  a  while  as  that  man  spake  ;  men 
talk  of  being  worth  thousands,  I  would  fain  see  the  men,  minis- 


ters  preach  and  others  Rpenk  well,  we  must  do  thU  and  that.  (wP 
I  would  liiiD  see  th<;  men  thnt  do  it.  flow,  it  somctimeii  fidlt 
out  that  the  Lord  Eets  before  men's  eyes  some  patlcrn  Chri^ 
tiuna ;  hereupon  tliey  think  thus :  Here  are  two  eontnuy  wajSi  ^ 
they  can  not  both  lead  to  heaven,  their  way  is  better  tium  mine, 
and  doubtless  leads  to  life  ;  mine  doth  not,  titerefore  let  me  live 
like  them.  And  henee  there  shall  not  be  any  feat  hut  they  will 
be  at  it,  not  a  sermon  near  but  they  will  go  wet  and  dry  to  be»r 
.it,  nor  any  duty  in  family  but  they  will  imitate  it.  and  hence  read 
and  learn,  that  they  may  be  like  them.  No  Christians  in  the 
couniiy  hated  but  they  will  love  them,  nor  ceremonies  cast  off 
but  they  will  abhor  thera ;  and  hence  they  reflect  upon  their  pat- 
terns, and  tliink  their  estate  safe,  because  they  ore  as  good  as  a 
Christian's  outside.  And  hence/  like  some  dead  cattle,  there  is 
I  notliing  good  but  their  skin,  so  there  is  nothing  good  in  these  but 
I  their  imitating  outside.  /  Thus  it  was  with  Joash  while  Jehojada 
lived.  2  Chron.  xxiv.  nence  he  fell  like  ivy  with  the  oak,  when 
God  cut  him  down.  Thus  it  was  with  these  five  foolish  virgins ; 
a  man  may  follow  good  examples,  but  not  rest  in  hare  imitation 
of  them.  And  hence  a  blessed  man  ie  described  (Ps.  i.)  nega- 
tively, from  not  imitating  the  wicked,  not  from  imitating  the 
good ;  because  good  men  may  be  in  many  things  ill  examples, 
and  it  ever  proves  bo  in  these  men  that  have  no  more  than 
thia  principle ;  hence,  if  they  be  loose  in  their  tongues,  or  on 
the  Sabbath,  their  plea  is,  they  arc  like  imto  them.  And  hence 
come  all  your  acquired  excellencies;  a  man  is  an  inulating 
creature,  led  by  example,  and  a  carnal  man,  out  of  the  heart 
of  hypocrisy  in  himself,  will  imitate  tlie  divine  nature  which  is 
in  another ;  and  hence  men  not  only  fake  up  sucii  practices, 
but  such  opinions  only,  because  such  and  such  are  of  that  mind. 
And  men  change  practices  and  opinions  as  examples  do  change  ; 
in  Joshua's  time,  great  reformation  ;  ho  no  sooner  died,  hut  all 
fell  off  again ;  then  they  were  for  purity  of  ordinances  and  God's 
worship,  now  they  serve  Baalim.  0,  consider,  here  in  an  out- 
ward, but  no  inward  principle. 

3,  Those  whose  principle  is  nothing  hut  external  applause  and 
praise  of  men,  and  this  will  carry  a  man  beyond  aU  the  best 
examples ;  nay,  sometime  to  be  singular  and  a  man  alone ;  a 
Pharisee's  trumpet  shall  be  heanl  to  tlie  town's  end,  while  sim- 
pUcity  walks  through  the  town  unseen.  Hence  a  man  will  some- 
times covertly  commend  himself,  and  myself  ever  comes  in,  and 
tells  you  a  long  story  of  conversion,  and  a  hundred  lo  one  if 
some  lie  or  other  slip  not  out  with  it.  Why,  the  secret  meaning 
ii,  I  pray  admire  me ;  hence  complain  of  wants  and  weaknesses  ; 


TiiE  TEN  Tinciss.  283 

pw,  think  what  a  brokcn-bcarled  Christian  I  am  ;  and  hence, 
tfronifon«d, ihey  complain,  if  not,  they  will  comfort  themselves; 
Ii'DccmaDy  lil't  upej-esand  hands, and  fetch  deep  sighs  in  pniyer, 
niiDember  and  note  eemions,  look  now  what  a  gift  I  have  i  hence, 
if  jwi  come  to  llieir  companj,  they  will  have  so  many  good  worda 
u  may  make  you'lhink  well  of  them,  and  then  the  market  ia  al- 
most doue  with  them ;  hence  men  forsake  their  friends,  and  tram- 
ple Dnder  foot  the  scorns  of  the  world,  they  have  credit  elst> 
rtere.     To  maintain  their  interest  in  the  love  of  godly  men 
ihey  will  suflcr  much  ;  hence  men  in  the  ministry  pray  for  grace 
to  beastify  and  perfect  their  parts,  that  so  they  may  preach,  and 
convert,  and  have  credit ;  hence  men  meditate  new  light,  and 
profess  deep  things  that  few  know,  that  men  may  worship  tlie 
rising  san;  hence  the  Lord  ia  neglecled  secretly,  yet  honored 
openly,  because  there  is  no  wind  in  their  chambers  to  blow  their 
■ails,  and,  therefore,  there  tliey  stand  still ;  heove  many  men  keep 
their  profession  when  they  lose  their  affection,  they  have  by  the 
one  a  name  to  live,  and  Uiat  is  enough,  though  their  hearts  be 
dead ;  and  hence  so  long  as  you  love  or  commend  them,  so  long 
they  love  3rou,  but  if  not.  they  will  forsake  you ;  tbey  were  warm 
only  by  another's  fire,  and  hence,  having  no  principle  of  life 
within,  soon  grow  dead.     This  is  the  water  that  turns  a  Phari- 
see's mill,  and  the  Lord  pnsselh  a  heavy  doom,  "  You  have  your 
reward."     I  have  wondered  that  the  opinion  of  men,  nay,  dream 
of  men's  thoughts,  should  act  men ;  only  it  is  a  curse  of  God, 
that,  when  men  despise  his  honor,  the  greatest  good,  they  shall 
be  fed  with  the  basest  good.^ 

4.  Those  whose  principle  is  nothing  else  but  their  own  gain 
of  outward  blessings.  Many  there  be  that  make  not  their  honor 
so  much  as  their  bellies  their  gods,  and  they  rule  them,  (Phil.  iii. 
19  -.JP  hence  the  shopkeeper  will  give  good  words  when  he  sells  his 
KoauBodity,  he  should  lose  much  of  his  custom  else ;  and  hence 
tbe  minister  preacheth  conscionably  that  bis  gain  may  come  in. 
1  Thesft.  ii.  4, 5,  Hence  people  would  be  as  good  as  the  best,  they 
can  not  get  a  lot  in  all  tbe  country  else.  Hence  a  man  is  some- 
time content  to  forsake  all  for  Christ,  that  he  may  make  a  booty 
of  Christ,  as  Judas  did.  Hence,  when  Christ  feeds  them  with 
Imtcs,  then  the  people  will  make  him  a  kmg,  (John  vi.,)  though 
afterward  they  cry.  Crucify  him.  So  men  deal  with  Christ  as  the 
aoUiers  did  that  caught  )iim,  tliat  they  might  strip  him  of  hia 
gannentA.  And  hence/many  men,  if  they  see  sorrowi 
Miending  them,  if  they  attend  on  Christ,  forsake  t 
upon  our  own  hind ;  many,  so  long  as  they  could  enjoy  C 
Ctir  weather,  cry  out  of  ceremonies,  and  profaning  o' 


S88  THE    TARABLB   OF 

Ifjet  this  not  being  to  be  liad,  creep  to  ihem,  and  read  the  book 
jlbr  profaning  thureof.  Many  shadows  have  been  seen  since  our 
Bun  bath  rjaea  liere,  and  this  way  they  looked  ;  but  viewing  other 
men's  wants,  and  fearing  iheir  own  losses,  and  conceiving  th^ 
may  meet  with  Masaab  in  tliia  wilderness,  refuse  to  follow.  And ' 
;  lest  this  should  seem  to  be  the  cause,  cry  out,  we  are  separatisl^ 
or  strongly  possess  themselves  against  all  relations ;  there  is 
living  at  all  here^ 

Lookbut  at  home  ;  howraanydoves  (that  prove  but  ravens, 

live  on  the  prey)  come  hither  to  our  windows,  and  have  followed' 

Christ  to  this  world's  end ;  when  he  fed  them  with  loaves,  they 

,  made  him  tlteir  king ;  but  now  he  hath  token  away  what  once 

( they  desired,  because  there  is  better  bread  to  be  labored  for  j  now 

they  forsake  him,  and  live  on  the  spoil.     This  is  no  inward  prin- 

ii  cipte.     And  hence,/when  men's  expenses  for  Christ  exceed  their 

I  receipts  from  Christ,  they  cease  spending,  and  fall  in  the  bigb- 

?  way  to  begging  at  the  door  of  the  world. 

6.  Thoao  whose  principle  is  nothing  else  but  the  strength  of 
natural  conscience,  which  will  set  men  a-doing,  when  they  have 
neither  praise  from  men  nor  gain  from  Christ  for  their  labor. 
For  the  Lord  deals  with  some  men  as  the  Komana  did  with 
some  of  their  prisoners ;  they  would  chain  a  prisoner  and  his 
keeper  together,  and  let  them  go  up  and  down  ;  so  God  chains 
many  a  poor  prisoner  of  hell  and  his  conscience  together,  and 
lets  them  go  together.  And  hence  many  a  man  keeps  peace  vnth 
his  conscience,  and  can  not  give  it  the  shp  for  all  the  world  heaped 
up  with  gold,  as  Balaam  said. 

Now,  there  are  two  things  in  a  nataral  coiucience.  Bom.' 
ii.  15. 

1.  To  accuse  ;  hence  a  man  dares  not  omit  prayer,  dares  nol 
commit  a  ain  he  has  a  mind  to ;  conscience  would  then  roar. 
Hence  many  keep  constantly  set  duties  in  private,  and  tremble 
at  small  sins  ;  not  because  they  take  any  delight  in  the  one,  or 
are  wewy  of  the  other,  but  because  they  are  ever  under  the  eye 
of  this  judge. 

2.  To  excuse,  and  to  give  much  sweetness  when  a  man  foLr- 
Iowa  the  dictates  thereof;  hence  a  man,  though  carnal,  will  die 
for  his  religion,  and  that  with  some  cheerfulness,  because  con- 
science cheers  within,  and  sings  hira  asleep  in  tronble.  And 
hence  a  man  will  cry  out  of  all  the  glorious  hypocrisies  of  men, 
because  to  walk  according  to  conscience  is  sweeter  to  him.  And 
hence  a  man  comforts  himself.  It  is  my  conscience ;  (Mark  xit^ 
33,)  to  love  God  "  is  better  than  burnt-offerings."  Hence 
man  will  profit  exceedingly  in  what  he  holds,  (GaL  1.  14,) 


I 


THE  TKX   TIRfilSS. 


csme  kaIoiu  for  it  for  conscience ;  and  ynt  this  ia  but  a  prin- 
ciple of  nature,  not  an  inward  princi|)lc  of  life,  wliose  property 
is  to  aeelt  the  subversion  of  corrupt  nature,  aa  natural  conscience 
Bcelu  the  gamieliing  of  it  and  the  actions  thereof. 

6.  Those  vhose  principle  is  the  fear  of  death  and  hell ;  raised 
not  BO  much  by  the  power  of  conscience  aa  by  the  power  of  the 
Word.  And  hence  come  complaints  n1x)ut  a  man's  estate  ;  that 
•  man  can  have  no  rest  by  all  duties  that  he  has  done,  or  doth. 
Hence  following  of  the  means,  running  to  the  best  ministry, 
mooming  and  lamenting  and  confessing  sin  ;  (]tlatt.  iii.  7,)  "O 
geoeralioa  of  vipers,"  etc  And  hence  prizing  of  favor  and 
comfort.  Ps.  Ixsviii.  34,  85.  Hence  many  do  take  this  for  their 
oonTersion,  and  say,  I  heard  such  a  minister  at  such  a  time,  and 
iheii  I  cried  out  I  was  damned,  and  thought  1  saw  the  devil ; 
yea,  and  to  hell  you  may  for  all  this,  if  no  other  principle.  In- 
deed, there  is  this  fear  in  the  elect,  but  drives  them  to  the  ark, 
as  Noah  ;  but  those,  when  their  fear  is  over,  they  fall  to  fight 
against  the  Lord. 

7.  Those  whose  principle  is  nothing  else  but  the  immediate 
sclings  of  the  Spirit  of  God  upon  tliem.  For  sometime  the 
Spirit  of  God  comes  upon  men  as  light  shines  on  the  mud  wall, 
yet  dwells  not  there  aa  in  the  sun.  And  hence  many  apeak, 
pray,  prophesy  admirably,  as  Balaam.  Num.  xiiv.  3,  4.  Many 
men,  like  carters,  bring  others'  goods  that  are  not  possessors  of 
them.  Now,  these  are,  1.  External  enlargements.  And  hence  * 
num  doth  many  thinga  which  be  bos  no  inward  power  to  per- 
form ;  the  Spirit  ia  there  assisting ;  hence  be  can  not  do  so  at 
another  time,  but  it  is  the  Spirit  only  aseisting.  And  hence  a 
man  may  have  abundance  of  knowledge,  and  he  not  affected 
with  it;  he  may  Lire  and  pray  with  applause  of  men,  others 
wisti  they  were  Uke  him.  yet  live  without  love,  and  speal;  without 
feeliag,  and  do  without  life ;  hence  men  leave  themselves  bere. 
S.  lateraal  pangs.  The  Spirit  of  God  begets  some  inward  grief, 
eapecially  when  outward  evils  press,  Ihcn  inward  Hashes  and  de- 
■ircs,  but  they  are  soon  done.  There  ia  no  spring,  no  principle 
within.  What  the  difference  b  between  saints'  uneveimess  and 
lUi  isconctancy  you  shall  hear  hereuiler;  yet  these  ice  wrce- 
ifingB  of  spirit  not  yet  conquering,  and  hence  it  pwse;;ae3  not 
the  tool. 

8.  When  men's  principle  is  nothing  eUe  but  common  gifla, 
which  are  inward,  and  abiding  long  in  the  soul.  That  a  man 
DOW  tbiakB  ho  has  grace,  and  sure  signs  of  the  Lord's  love,  and 
bcra  is  fiMtened.  ^Vhen  there  be  two  tilings  wherein  it  appears 
llMn  is  00  mward  principle  :  1.  Thene  giila.  ever  puii  up,  and 


make  a  man  somelhing  in  his  own  eyes.as  the  Corintliian  knowl- 
edge did.  And  manj  u  private  man  tUiaka  liimseLl'  lit  to  be  a 
minister,  nuany  u  minister  better  llian  all  the  parish  besides  ; 
when  F»ul  wua  the  least  of  all  the  saintji.  And  hence  commonly 
they  degenerate  to  pride  and  farm.  2.  Theae  keep  men  stran- 
gers to  Christ  and  the  life  of  failh  ;  they  have  these  afiections, 
yet,  ignorant  of  Clirisl,  take  these  as  signs  of  hid  love,  and  live 
witliout  him.  And  this  is,  indeed^  ttie  inner  principle  which  all 
the  wicked  in  the  world  want ;  there  is  in  true  grace  an  infinite 
drcle.  A  man  by  thirsting  receives,  and  receiving,  thirsts  for 
more.  But  hence  the  Spirit  is  not  poured  out  abundantly  on 
churches,  because  men  shut  it  out  by  shutting  in  and  contenting 
themselves  with  their  common  graces  and  gifts.  Matt.  yii.  29, 
Ezomiiie  if  it  be  thus.     If  so,  — ' 

1.  You  con  not  come  to  the  Lord ;  (John  v.  44,)  "  How  can 
ye  believe  ?  " 

2.  Nor  lo  receive  any  thing  from  the  Lord  if  you  do,  (Jamw 
iv.  3,)  "  when  you  ask  u>  spend  it  on  your  lust,"  when  tiiat  car- 
ries you. 

3.  This  pulls  down  the  kingdom  of  the  Lord  Jesus  when  other 
things  rule  us,  and  not  himself  alone. 

I  4.  Satan  will  have  this  against  you,  as  against  Job,  "  You 

serve  not  the  Lord  for  nought,"  To  what  purpose  are  your  new 
moons,  church  reformations,  if  it  be  thus  ?  Now,  because  it  hath 
been  replied  to  what  was  formerly  said,  that  Christ  was  the  ves- 
sel, not  our  souls,  I  shall,  therefore,  confirm  the  lattex  to  bo  the 
truth  by  these  reasons :  — 

1.  Mystical  places  of  Scripture  are  lo  be  interpreted  by  plain. 
Now,  though  Christ  may  he  the  antitype  of  these  vessels  of  the 
temple,  yet  he  is  not  plainly  sud  to  be  a  vessel;  but  souls  aro 
caUed  so.  Rom.  ix.  23  ;  2  Cor.  iv.  7 ;  AcU  ix.  15.  "  Paul  U  » 
chosen  vesseL"  1  Theas.  iv.  4,  "  We  are  to  possess  our  vessels 
in  holiness."     2  Tim.  ii.  20,  "  Vessels  of  honor." 

2.  The  Spirit  is  not  in  Christ  as  in  a  vessel,  but  as  in  a  foon- 
tiun ;  hence,  (John  iii.  34,)  "  Christ  hath  received  the  Spirit 
without  measure." 

3.  The  foolish  virgins  had  vessels,  because  it  is  said,  "  They 
look  their  lamps,  but  no  oit  with  them."  Their  folly  was  not  in 
not  providing  vessels.  Hence  the  foolish  virgins  did  not  afler- 
ward  beg  their  vessels,  but  their  oil. 

I  X  The  wisdom  of  the  wise  did  appear  in  that  they  did  pro- 
Ivide  oil  for  their  vessels.  If,  therefore,  tlie  vessel  be  Christ, 
I  therein  lies  the  wisdom  of  the  wise,  that  ihey  got  the  Spirit  to 
I  put  into  Christ,  and  the  folly  of  the  foolish,  they  got  not  (he 


THE   TEN  TIROIKS.  289 

Spirit  to  pat  into  him.  Or  the  one  got  Christ  Jesus  full  of  the  i 
Spirit,  the  other,  Christ  J^sus  void  of  it  When  whoever  hath  I 
Christ  must  have  in  him  the  fullness  of  the  Spirit  also.         _    J 

5.  The  other  interpretation  crosseth  the  main  scope  of  this 
pait  of  the  parahle,  which  is  to  show  the  difference  between  the 
virgins.  All  professed  Christ,  went  to  meet  the  bridegroom ; 
but  here  was  the  difference,  they  never  looked  for  to  get  the 
Spirit  in  them.  And  this  is  most  suitable  to  men  raised  out  of 
the  dregs  of  Popery,  where  works  being  abolished,  Christ  is 
owned,  and  therein  do  well,  but  herein  fail. 

Thus  you  have  heard  the  use  of  trial  negatively.  What  this 
inward  principle  is  afSrmatively  you  have  generally  heard,  and 
shall  more  particularly  in  the  other  two  doctrines.  Only  this  I 
shall  add,  it  consists  of  two  parts :  — 

1.  Our  life  in  Christ  by  faith. 

2.  Christ's  life  in  us  by  his  Spirit  Faith  empties  the  soul, 
and  looks  upon  it  as  dead,  and  sees  its  life  laid  up  in  Christ ; 
and  hence  forsakes  itself,  and  embraces  the  Lord  of  glory.  SeC' 
ondly.  The  Spirit  comes  and  possesscth  a  forsaken,  empty  house, 
and  there  lives  and  dwells.  Both  these  the  apostle  mentions. 
€ral.  ii.  20 ;  Eph.  iii.  17  ;  John  xv.  4.  As  two  married  together, 
their  souls  live  not  where  they  are,  but  in  each  other.  The  one 
cares  not  how  to  please  herself,  but  her  husband ;  and  e  contra. 
So  that  lest  any  weak  soul  should  be  discouraged,  that  thinks 
there  is  no  principle  of  life,  because  such  a  blind,  empty,  dead 
heart,  wandering  from  God,  etc.  Nay,  when  the  Lord  quickens 
it,  O,  it  is  lost  again.  Nay,  when  quickened,  O,  then,  when-i 
comes  to,  it  is  so  feeble !  I  tell  you  it  must  be  so.  This  makes 
you  lay  up  your  life  in  him ;  this  death  is  your  life.  And  lest 
any  false  heart  should  be  here  deceived  that  saith  he  has  Christ, 
"  If  you  have  not  the  Spirit  of  Christ,  you  are  none  of  his." 
The  saints  have  this  sometime,  their  temple  is  filled  with  glory ; 
and  for  their  general  course  they  are  admirers  of  the  Lord  Je- 
sus, and  account  his  life  to  be  life,  and  all  their  life  beside  to  be 
continual  death.  There  is  not  any  grace  but  they  say,  O  that  I 
had  it! 

Section   V. 

U$e  5.  Of  Exhort.  To  every  man,  as  ever  you  look  to  be  with 
Christ  Jesus  another  day,  get  this  oil  in  your  vessels.  The  Lord 
doth,  in  this  parable,  set  l)efore  your  eyes  the  estate  of  the  purest 
virgin  churches  and  professors  in  the  world,  and  it  is  his  infinite 
love  to  tell  us  beforehand,  before  the  time  be  past,  to  tell  us  that 
many  of  these  shall  be  shut  out  from  the  presence  of  the  Lord 
VOL.  II.  25 


I 


896  TB  

JeguB,  whom  tliemselve^  and  others  ihitik  sliall  not;  and  yet  tUa 
love  would  be  but  litl.le,  unless  the  Lord  hod  made  known  tlie 
cause  or  defect  in  not  getting  oil  to  their  ressel.  O,  consider, 
therefore,  here  you  are  like  to  fail ;  you  that  liave  lain|>8  betorq 
the  cry  and  bridegroom  comes,  acknowledge  Cliriai's  love,  and  be 
overcome  by  it  to  get  oil  in  your  vesaela.  When  Kahab  knew 
that  the  Lord  would  destroy  all  Jericho,  now  b1)g  lays  about  her 
to  preserve  her  life.  What  b  the  means  ?  To  lie  the  scarlM 
thread  at  the  window.  0,  she  would  be  sure  to  get  and  keep 
that  there.  You  know  the  Lord  Jesus  will  come  and  discover 
the  unsound  profession,  and  destroy  the  glory  of  the  world  and 
churches,  too.  It  may  be  ye  have  had  sore  fears,  What  if  be 
should  cut  me  off,  and  cast  me  out,  aa  possibly  he  may!  And  I 
may  as  well  as  eminent  profeHsore.  I  tell  you  none  ever  per- 
ished but  because  of  this.  How  just  had  Rahab's  judgment 
been  if  she  had  refused  lo  get  her  scarlet  tliread  there,  and  yours 
if  now  ye  get  not  your  oil  in  your  veaael  ?  How  many  are  there 
that  have  lived  fairly  and  died  quietly,  and,  when  they  are  dead, 
and  knock,  the  door  is  shut,  tliat  then  wring  their  hands ;  O, 
had  I  but  known  of  this  I  I  would  have  spent  my  care,  and 
etrength,  and  t£ars,  and  thoughts,  how  to  have  filled  my  vessel ; 
bat  I  knew  it  not.  This  time  will  shortly  come;  and  if  you 
know  it  now,  and  do  not  set  upon  it,  what  a  cut  will  this  be  I 
As,  therefore,  the  apostle  exhorts,  ([Ieb.iv.1,)  "  Having  a  prom- 
ise of  entering  into  rest,  fear  lest  you  fall  short  of  it."  I  say  so 
much  more  here,  knowing  how  only  you  shall  enter  into  Christ's 
rest,  fear  lest  you  fall  short  of  this  ;  I  hope  I  shall  not,  I  thank 
Grod  my  course  is  blameless,  spotless ;  I  have  forsaken  the  sins 
of  places  and  pollutions  of  ordinances ;  so  these  were  virgins 
also.  O,  but  my  lamp  burns  as  bright  as  any  man's,  I  know  ;  so 
did  the  foolish  virgins'.  0,  but  they  all  think  well  of  me  ;  so 
were  these  thought  of,  till  the  Lord  swd,  "  I  know  you  not."  0, 
but  I  look  to  Christ,  to  meet  with  him,  and  salvation  from  him  ; 
BO  did  these,  and  yet  were  shut  out  from  Christ.  If  the  Lord 
should  have  said,  it  was  because  they  bad  not  wealth  enough,  nor 
world  enough,  every  man  would  not  have  been  wanting  he«, 
but  would  have  striven  to  have  got  enough  of  that,  though  it  were 
not  to  be  had  ;  but  there  is  enough  in  Christ  to  enrich  yon,  who 
haa  the  Spirit  without  measure  to  do  it.     The  Spirit  may  breathe 

T      JUkimi  1.  Labor  to  feel  and  nioum  under  thy  whole  corrupt- 
I  principles  that  have  acted  thee  hitherto  j  for  many  men  are  sen — 
\  Bible  sometimes  of  some  particular  acta  and  jarrings  of  their" 
^hearts  and  life  with  the  rule,  and  then  they  seek  forgiveness  of^ 


THE   TEN   VIRGINS.  291 

^^^1  grace  against  them,  and  then  they  hope  all  is  well ;  then 
*^ey  do  many  things  and  hear  John  gladly,  and  in  plainness  and 
^^tegrity  of  their  hearts  think  that  all  is  well.  But  still  they  fall 
^lort  of  a  principle  of  life,  because  they  never  felt  a  whole  cor- 
5*upt  principle,  and  how  in  every  thing  it  crosseth  Grod,  not  only 
^n  the  corrupt,  but  most  glorious  actions.  For  aU  men  naturaUy 
'lum  from  being  open  to  secret  enemies,  and  from  being  secret  to  ) 
1)6  subtle  enemies,  and  to  undermine  the  Lord  in  all  they  do.J 
^ow,  many  see  it,  but  not  the  evil  of  it,  nor  mourn  under  it. 
Hence,  the  Lord  never  sends  another  Spirit,  because  they  have 
not  the  spirit  of  heaviness  for  want  of  it.  But  when  a  man  sees 
that  in  every  thing  he  is  carried  and  acted  by  a  principle  of  bit- 
terness against  the  Lord,  and  lives  without  the  Spirit  of  the 
Lord  to  act  him,  the  Lord  is  not  far  from  that  soul  when  he 
feels  this,  and  mourns  before  the  Lord  because  of  this,  and  the 
want  of  that.  1  Kings  viii.  38.  So  Christ  said,  '^  Because  I 
said,  I  go  away,  sorrow  has  fiUed  your  hearts."  John  xvi.  6,  7. 
This  is  the  very  reason  why  saints  have  the  Comforter,  his  ab- 
sence fills  their  hearts  with  sorrow ;  because  when  he  is  gone, 
O,  the  straitness,  vileness  of  a  corrupt  heart !  You  say  it  may 
be.  If  this  be  not  a  right  principle,  what  is  ?  Ans.  To  under- 
mine all  false  works.  O,  therefore,  feel  this  plague  !  If  ever 
(iod  works  this  grace,  feel  you  must  the  want  of  it,  "and  if  you 
do  mourn,  then  you  are  under  it.  And,  O,  mourn,  1.  By  con- 
sidering the  evil  of  it ;  you  can  mourn  after  a  dead  father,  and 
phall  you  not  over  a  dead  heart  ?  2.  To  think  there  should  be  so 
much  Spirit  in  Christ,  and  not  a  drop  for  me.  Is  he  so  angry 
with  me  ?  See,  therefore,  I  pray  you,  that  you  are  led  by  ill 
principles,  or  false  principles.  I  pray,  but  self-love  sets  me 
a-work  ;  I  profess,  but  praise  of  men  acts  me  ;  I  observe  duties  in 
secret,  but  natural  conscience  only  carries  me.  No  surer  sign 
©f  ruin  than  for  the  Lord  to  hide  these  things  from  you ;  nor  of 
love  than  when  he  shows  this,  and  gives  you  not  only  sense  of  some 
one  act,  but  a  spirit  of  heaviness  under  this.  This  empties  the 
vessel,  and  so  makes  us  vessels  of  honor.  Do  not,  therefore,  set 
thyself  so  much  to  do,  as  to  see  where  thy  evil  principle  is  in  all 
thou  dost. 

Means  2.  Repair  now  to  the  fountain  of  life,  for  a  principle 
of  life  from  him,  and  fetch  it  from  him. 

Qmst  What  is  that,  and  how  shall  I  fetch  it  from  him  ? 

Ans.  1.  It  is  not  a  man's  own  striving;  a  man  may  imitate 
nature,  but  can  not  make  nature.  All  the  world  can  not  make 
one  poor  fly.  And  as  it  is  artis  celare  artem,  so  when  he  hath 
clone  he   may  deceive    himself  and  others,  but  nothing   else. 


r 


I9S 

"  Born  not  of  the  will  of  man,"  A  man  is  in  great  d 
coDBcience  for  ein  fast,  fiiar  of  death  for  time  to  come,  una  dow 
he  comes  just  aa  fur  as  ti  deril ;  then  prays,  Lord,  save  me.  and 
now  comes  as  far  as  nature  can  carry  him,  and,  thcr^fore^  is  eased, 
and  now  he  halh  Satan's  black  seal  upon  him,  and  self-flattery 
hath  carried  him  on.     The  fotmtain  of  hfe  is  nol  here. 

2.  It  is  not  the  law ;  it  convineetli  one,  and  be  complains  ;  it 
condemns  another,  and  he  cries  out ;  ii  irritates  another,  and  he 
falls  to  do  what  lie  can ;  but  the  law  can  not  give  life.  GaL 
ill.  21. 

3.  It  is  not  bore  ordinances,  which  are  of  themselves  bat 
husks,  and  shells,  and  empty  pipes.  Witness  the  cries  of  many 
a  man  Sabbath  afYer  Sabbath,  no  life,  and  that  for  a  long  time ; 
nay,  he  grows  worse. 

i.  It  is  not  God,  simply  considered,  lie  is,  indeed,  the  foun- 
tain of  life,  but  sin  has  sealed  that  fountain  ;  hence  many  a  one 
goes  to  him,  and  departs  from  him  with  frowns. 

5.  Where  is  life,  then?  In  Christ.  I  know  he  is  Lord 
and  Prince  of  life.  Yet  consider,  aa  God  man,  no  life  is  in  him 
for  you,  as  to  be  communicated  to  you.  Where  then?  It  is  in 
the  blood  and  death  of  the  Lord  of  life.  You  are  ready  to  un- 
dervalue this  life.  O,  consider  what  it  must  cost  the  Son  of  God, 
and  where  it  must  lie ;  (Hob.  ii.  14,)  "  If  bulls'  and  goats'  blood 
washed  the  flesh,  much  more  this  blood,"  etc.  Many  a  man  feeb 
a  blind,  dead  heart,  and  all  duties  dead  ;  and  hence  uses  many 
persuasions  to  himself,  yet  they  continue  so  still,  because  he  never 
looks  to  this  blood.  There  ia  this  excellency  in  Clirist's  blood, 
not  only  to  cleanse  from  guilt  and  power  of  sin,  bnt  from  dead 
works,  and  none  else  can.  Now,  therefore,  repair  hither  for  it ; 
know  what  your  lives  will  and  must  cost. 

Now,  how  shall  this  bo  done  ?  J 

Ant.  1.  Prize  this  blood,  and  satisfy  thy  soul  with  it,  choose 
it,  and  rest  in  it,  in  the  Lord  himself  a.s  sufficient ;  (John  vi.  .'>3,} 
"  Except  yo  eat  and  drink,"  etc :  many  account  it  a  commoB^ 
thing ;  you  receive  it  not  then,  but  trample  it  nnder  yonr  feet| 
many  esteem  of  it,  but  they  feel  not  themselves  with  it,  nor  quieC 
their  hearts  with  life  there  first )  and  hence  it  falls  out  thus. 

2.  Keep  this  rule.  Content  not   thyself  with  that  measuM 
which  tliou  hast  from  Chrint.  but  he  thankful  for  it,  and  fallii  ' 
short,  call  ever  for  more  ;  but  satiate  thyself  with  ihal  which 
in  Christ. 

If  thou  canst  not  do  this,  if  it  is  beyond  thy  strength,  thi 
consider  Christ  has  words  of  life.  John  vi.  0,  beg  for  that,  ai 
for  those  words,  "  Hear  what  the  Lord  will  say."  1'6.  li.  8.     Yi 


THE  TEN   VIRGINS.  293 

can  not  see  nor  come  to  Christ ;  then,  "  Hear  and  your  souls 
Bhall  live."  Who  knows  what  the  Lord  may  do  ?  It  is  not  pos- 
sible for  man  to  do  it,  but  the  Lord  Jesus  may  and  can. 

O,  then,  you  that  have  this  principle,  let  all  your  actions  issue 
and  spring  from  hence.  As  Paul  exhorted  Timothy,  "  Stir  up 
that  gift  that  is  in  thee."  '*  Up,  Deborah,  up.  Awake,  harp  and 
lute,"  saith  David.  /  Do  not  say,  I  can  do  nothing,  and  so  the] 
Lord  must  do  all ;  do  not  say,  I  have  a  dead  heart,  and  can  d< 
nothing,  but  stir  it  up.  It  was  the  Lord's  complaint ;  (Is.  Ixiv.l 
7,)  "  None  took  hold  of  the  Lord,  nor  stirred  up  himself"  to  that! 
end.  It  may  be  some  of  you  have  some  strength.  O,  put  it' 
forth.  (  I  know  all  sU'ength  is  from  Clirist,  but  there  is  a  perma-i 
nent  strength  in  you/  You  are  not  dead  to  act ;  you  wrong  the 
Lord  and  his  grace  if  you  think  so.  As  it  is  a  heavy  sin  to  shutj 
up  and  imprison  natural  truth,  (Rom.  i.  18,)  so  much  more  the 
power  of  grace.  Others  have  lost  it ;  O,  recover  it.  And  hence 
Paul  prays  for  this  earnestly ;  (Eph.  iii.  15,)  "  The  Lord  strengBP 
en  you  with  might  in  the  inner  man."  And,  therefore,  put  this 
forth  to  act,  and  be  sure  you  act  only  from  the  Spirit  of  grace. 

Quest.  How  shall  I  do  this  ? 

Ans,  1.  Set  the  Lord  Jesus  in  all  his  glory  before  you.  There 
is  that  excellency  of  the  knowledge  of  Christ's  person,  that  it 
makes  us  be  and  live  like  him,  and  according  to  the  propinquity 
of  our  souls  and  eyes  to  Christ,  so  we  are  like  him.  As  it  is 
with  the  sun,  when  it  is  gone  from  the  earth,  there  are  not  so 
much  as  leaves  on  the  trees,  yet  when  it  returns,  the  trees  bring 
forth  fruit  Or  as  it  is  in  heaven,  (1  John  iii.  2,)  so  in  this  life, 
when  we  see  him  in  a  glass.  1  Cor.  iii.  18.  That  look  as  it  is 
with  an  ambitious  man,  when  he  is  in  the  presence  of  men  he 
will  manifest  all  his  excellency ;  nothing  shall  be  done  to  gain 
discredit.  So  if  the  Lord  and  his  life  be  your  excellency,  when 
you  see  Christ  you  will  approve  yourselves  to  him.  See  him, 
therefore,  beholding  and  accepting ;  and  that  grace  you  would 
put  forth,  see  it  in  him ;  it  is  strange  to  see  what  a  stream  of 
spirit  comes  sometimes  this  way. 

2.  Keep  the  remembrance  of  the  exceeding  greatness  of  his 
love  fresh  in  your  minds,  in  that  "  he  has  quickened  you,"  (Eph. 
ii.  4,  5 ;)  and  that  this  life  was  by  his  death.  All  the  flowers  of 
the  field  cast  their  savor  but  for  a  time,  and  then  away  with  them ; 
but  Christ's  love  and  Christ's  death  do  usually  always  breathe  a 
savor  of  life  to  a  sincere  heart  that  never  knew  what  the  sting 
of  death  meant.  2  Cor.  v.  14,  15.  Christ  loves  Christians,  be- 
oause  he  dies  that  we  should  live.  But  how  ?  Because  we  thus 
judged.     God  has  made  man  an  agent  by  counsel.     Now,  some 

2tn 


I 

I 


S94  TnE  rARABLF.  or 


Christiana  go  to  the  Lord  to  help  them,  hut  scl  not  pmjer  c 
faith  a-work,  and  hence  have  no  water  of  life.  Some  do,  bi 
use  not  other  means  to  set  the  understanding  (ihe  mind  of  faithlM 
on  work,  to  quicken  it  up  to  act,  and  bo  would  have  life  hrougfaJ 
in,  but  Dol  by  ihe  right  door ;  an  emptj  vcseel  will  not  be  foF 
of  this  noter  till  now  that  the  mouth  of  the  understanding  it'M 
open.  Now,  many  things  are  to  be  considered  to  act  erery  graoQi  ' 
as  God's  command  and  promise,  eto.  But  this  is  that  which  in 
the  general  quickens  ;  O,  Christ's  love,  which  construns  tlie  soul 
to  live  to  him.  According  as  a  man  thus  receives  from  Chris^ 
BO  he  returns  to  him.  As  it  is  observed,  one  sign  that  when  a 
people  visit  not  their  minister  they  receive  no  good ;  so  here. 
That  is  a  sign  of  a  decaying  Christian,  for  usually  they  that  get 
good  by  Christ,  can  not,  by  their  good  will,  stay  away  from 
Christ  So,  then,  the  soul  will  return  in  all  fruitful  obedience  to 
the  Lord,  when  he  receives  the  sweet  of  the  love  of  the  Lord. 
The  Lord  dolh  me  good,  mothinks,  and  hence  he  foUone  the 
Lord.  Satan  hence  prevails  with  the  heart,  because  of  its  exter- 
nal objects,  and  a  party  within  ;  so  here  Christ  prcvaib,  because 
there  is  a  party  within,  when  external  objects  are  propounded. 
Let  a  man  have  life ;  if  he  have  no  food  he  will  never  live.  If 
bread  he  before  him,  and  he  feed  not  on  it,  and  that  abundantly, 
he  will  never  have  strength ;  so  this  love  of  Clu'ist  in  ns  is  life 
in  us,  and  food  for  us. 

3,  Famish  the  contrary  principle,  tlio  strength  whereof  is  hy 
Bucking  in  the  sweet,  and  receiving  in  carnal  content  from  the 
creature ;  (Rom.  xiii.  14,}  "  Put  on  the  Lord  Jesus,"  his  Spirit, 
his  righteousness,  his  life,  his  graces ;  *'  make  no  provision  for  the 
flesh."  Many  Christians  look  up  to  Christ  in  all  means,  but  can 
do  nothing,  because  they  have  some  dehght  either  in  lawful  or 
unlawful  things,  that  lie  bctwcon  them  and  Christ.  Hence  that 
grows  strong,  the  other  feeble. 

4.  Die  to  all  self-confidence  in  gr.ice  received,  or  sclf-contont- 
ment  with  any  measure  of  it ;  for  thereby  you  stop  the  Spirit; 
for  we  of  ourselves  can  not  think  a  good  thought.  Therefore, 
be  strong  in  Christ,  and  hence,  Epb.  vi.  10-12.  A  man  is  apt 
to  fall  to  a  double  extreme,  to  he  strong  in  the  Lord  without 

tutting  on  graces  ;  and  to  trust  to  them  without  being  strong  in 
H  him.  Com  must  die  before  it  lives ;  so  must  you  ;  and  rest  not 
n  content  with  the  measure  reeeired,  but  look  for  more,  and  henco 
I  be,tlmnkful,  and  say,  It  is  not  I,  but  Christ ;  yet  look  for  more. 
y"T>.  If  no  means  come  lo  give  strength,  consider  sadly  if  ynti 
I  have  not  broken  covenant  with  God,  as  in  Samson's  cjise.  God 
-was  in  covenant  with  him,  but  he  had  broken  it  on  his  part ; 


THE  TEN  VIBQINS.  295 

hence  his  strength  was  gone.  I  know  no  place  that  breeds  men 
of  larger  covenants  than  this  place,  by  sea  and  land,  personal, 
and  especially  church  covenants.  Now,  thy  strength  is  gone« 
Doet  thou  not  live  in  breach  of  covenant  ?  Not  only  it  is  broken, 
hut  you  live  in  it.  You  covenant  to  cleave  to  the  Lord,  or  if 
you  depart,  to  return  soon  again,  but  you  lie  in  your  falls.  Nay, 
your  covenant  and  returning  heals  your  horror  only,  not  your 
sin.  You  covenant  to  love  brethren  dearly,  but  a  little  ofience 
one  gives,  or  hopes  of  a  bigger  lot,  will  tempt  thy  heart  to  leave 
them  to  their  own  shifls.  You  covenant  to  submit  to  officers  in 
the  Lord,  but  some  take  liberty  to  speak  what  they  will,  and 
others  do  what  they  list  To  watch  over  your  brethren,  to  put 
life  in  them,  but  you  grow  a  stranger,  and  it  may  be  see  them  not  I 
once  in  a  quarter,  unless  at  church,  j  But  can  it  be  said  they  are  J 
any  better  for  thee  ?  O,  your  sins  are  double,  and  hence  your 
plagues  of  heart  are  worse  now,  more  hard  to  be  wrought  upon, 
and  hence  sin  and  Satan  lead  you.  Ps.  Ixxviii.  57,  60,  61.  O, 
consider  this  sin,  the  strength  of  God  is  taken  as  captain  of  the 
camp,  that  when  you  cry.  Lord,  help  m^  there  it  is.  But,  alas ! 
it  is  gone  from  you,  and  it  is  in  Satan's  hand,  not  only  your 
strength,  but  God's  strength,  and  the  soul  is  taken  captive.  O, 
therefore,  mourn  for  this,  lest  you  mourn  at  last. 


CHAPTER  XX. 

snoweth  that  there  is  such  a  fullness  or  measure  of 
grace  in  the  heart  of  believers,  which  the  most  re- 
fined hypocrites  never  arise  unto. 

Section  L 

Doct.  3.  That  there  is  a  certain  plenitude,  fullness,  or  full 
measure  of  the  Spirit  of  grace  in  the  hearts  of  the  faithful, 
which  the  most  glorious,  yet  unsound  professors  of  virgin  cliurclios 
want^  and  have  not  in  their  vessels,  but  fall  short  of. 

Just  as  these  foolish  virgins,  they  had  their  lam|>8,  a  burning 
and  shining  profession.  And  had  they  no  more  ?  Yes,  surely ; 
for  their  lamp  how  could  it  burn  but  by  means  of  some  oil? 
They  had  their  wick  touched  and  dipped  in  oil,  some  lif^hter 
strokes  and  superficial  impressions  of  the  S|)irit  I'hey  had  not 
their  vessels  filled  with  oil ;  they  had  not  this  degree  and  full 
measure  of  the  Spirit.  This  they  fell  short  of,  and  herein 
appeared  the  difference,  j  There  are  certain  inward  touche8,\ 


(i, 


296  THE   PARABLE   OP 

an  inward  lighter  dye  of  GoiVs  Spirit,  which  serves  (o  be^et 
tt  eroiDent  proratsion  before  men,  but  never  to  make 
lul  Bineere,  indeed,  befure  the  eyes  of  God.  That  toot, 
ne  naturalists  make  three  or  four  kinds  of  life,  differing 
only  OS  higher  or  lower  degrees  of  lite,  though  not  of  the  same 
4ife;  aa  plnnte  have  a  Tegetalive  life  only  lo  grow,  but  no 
sensitive  to  see ;  becnnse  tieir  forms  are  more  drowned  in  their 
'  matXer;  sensitive  in  beasts,  yet  not  rational;  rational  in  men, 
but  not  angelical,  etc.  So  here,  a  greater  degree  of  the  Spirit's 
working  makes  a  di&erence  in  kind  between  Christian  and 
Christian.  It  is  the  Spirit  that  mokes  a  man  live ;  it  is  the  same 
Si'irii,  by  a  greater  stroke,  makes  a  man  live  the  life  of  God. 
Kpli.  iv,  18.  Yet/tliere  are  two  kinds  of  lives,  a«  far  different 
as  sensitive  and  vegetative ;  and  though  the  rational  has  both, 
yet  it  b  neither  of  both.  So,  though  a  saint  Uvea  the  life  of 
reason  and  morality,  yet  there  is  another  life  he  has,  which  doth 
differ  from  these,  of  a  high  degree,  and  of  another  kind.  I  do 
not  say,  therefore,  that  a  sincere  soul  only  has  a  greater  degree 
of  the  same  grace,  but  that  he  is  diatinguished  by  a  greater  de- 
■  gree  of  gncce  and  working  of  the  Spirit  of  grace  from  an 
[unsound  heart.  Aa  n  man  may  love  another,  but  not  with  a 
/conjugal  love,  here  is  now  a  degree  of  love,  but  not  of  the  same 
/  lov^  for  it  is  not  a  whit  conjugal ;  it  might,  then,  bo  sinful  in 
I  some  men ;  so  it  is  here.  A  man  tliat  has  filled  his  stomach  with 
meat  may  have  Eomc  desire  after  it,  but  not  a  hungry  deure,  not 
in  that  degree ;  hence  not  hungry  ut  aU.  So  "  the  slug^rd 
desires  and  has  not ; "  a  carnal  heart  desires,  and  another  desires 
I  the  Lord  Jeeua  i  a  carnal  sluggish  heart  desires  and  has  not,  but 
\  another  hungers  and  is  tilled ;  he  has  not  any  degree  of  the 
name  hunger.  It  is,  thapcfaia,  granted  there  are  desires,  and 
joys,  and  light,  and  growth  in  false  hearts,  but  there  is  not  that 
fullness  of  joy,  that  fullness  of  light,  that  fullness  of  the  Spirit  I 
which  is  in  the  faithful,  and  here  they  ever  fall  short.     Yet  I 

1.  There  is  not  a  perfect  measure;  nor  the  fullness  that  j 
shall  be  when  our  souls  shall  be  gathered  lu  them  that  are  mads  I 
perfect.  1 

2.  Nor  yet  that  there  is  that  fullness  the  saints  aim  al ;  for  it  I 
is  the  resurrection  Ihey  aim  at.  Phil.  iii.  12-U.  | 

3.  Nor  yet  a  glutting  fullness,  that  men  have  manna  enougli,1 
and  say,  the  main  work  is  wrought,  and  that  is  enough  in 

I    a  fullness  as  satisHes  their  appetite  fron>  longing  lor  mo 
V   which  satisfies  and  quiets  their  conscience  in  regard  of  the  np> 
riglktness  of  their  souls  before  the  Lord, 


THE  TEN  VIRGINS.  297 

Section  n. 

But,  for  the  more  full  and  clear  explication  of  this  point,  I ! 
shall  show  jou  these  three  things :  —  ^ 

1.  That  hypocrites  maj  have  some  inward  touches  of  God's 
Spirit. 

2.  That  the  very  reason  of  their  falseness  is,  because  thej 
have  no  more  than  such  touches  or  strokes. 

3.  That  there  is  a  fullness  the  saints  come  to  which  others 
want. 

To  be  showed,  1.  Positivelj;  2.  Negatively. 
I.  That  hypocrites  may  have  not  only  outward  shows,  but 
some  inward  lighter  strokes  of  Grod's  Spirit ;  as,  — 

1.  Of  the  Spirit  restraining  and  confining,  nay,  benumbing  of 
corruption,  as  Paul  was  blameless;  nay,  he  had  no  mind  nor  will 
to  many  sins ;  nay,  did  not  think  he  had  any  living  contempt 
and  enmity  of  God  in  his  heart.  Hence  (Rom.  vii.  9)  it  is  said, 
"  When  the  command  came,  sin  revived."  Was  it  not  living  be- 
fore ?  Yes ;  but  it  was  asleep,  it  was  benumbed,  like  cold  snakes, 
but  not  killed. 

2.  Of  the  Spirit  preventing  and  exciting  unto  many,  nay,  to 
any  duty  of  the  law  in  general,  and  that  sometime  by  fears  of 
misery  and  terrors  of  the  law,  (Deut.  v.  23 ;)  and  sometime  by 
love  and  mercy  morally  affecting  the  heart ;  (Exod.  xix.  4-6,) 
**  You  have  heard  what  the  Lord  hath  done.  Will  you  now  enter 
into  covenant  ? "  Yes ;  yet  what  is  said  of  them  ?  (Psalm 
Ixxviii.  37,)  "  They  were  false  in  Grod's  covenant" 

3.  There  may  be  some  operative  and  quickening  grace  of  the 
gospel ;  (Heb.  vi.  4,)  "  They  were  enlightened,"  etc. 

4.  There  may  be  some  edifying  and  cooperating  gifts  of  law 
and  gospel,  whereby  a  man  may  not  only  be  useful  and  helpful 
to  some,  but  to  the  church  of  Grod,  as  those  that  did  prophesy  in 
Christ's  name.  And  these  may  be  so  inward,  that  they  think 
themselves  clean  and  sincere ;  as  Abimclcch. 

XL  That  the  reason  of  their  unsoundness  is,  because  they 
have  no  more  than  lighter  strokes  of  God's  Spirit. 

As  I  might  show  in  all  these,  Paul  is  blameless,  yet  far 
enough  from  having  sin  mortified  by  Christ,  and  hence  profess- 
eth,  **  We  did  serve  divers  lusts."  Tit.  iii.  3.  The  Israelites 
cry  out,  they  "  will  do  what  Grod  will  have  them."  Yet,  "  O 
that  there  were  such  a  heart!"  Deut.  v.  29.  They  in  Ileb. 
vi.  "were  enlightened  and  tasted,"  yet  fell.  He,  therefore, 
a^lds,  "  We  are  persuaded  (vor.  9)  better  things  of  you."  They 
did  "  prophesy  in  Christ's  name,"  (Matt.  7,)  yet  "  depart  from 


I 


I 
I 


S98  T 

'  me,  ye  workers  of  iniquity."  But  see  il,  more  particularly, 
Mark  xM,  'iH.  Salth  the  scribe  to  him,  "  To  love  the  L<ord  is 
belter  than  all  buml-ofieringa."  Some  Jens  did  rest  there,  but 
Degtect«d  the  innard  work;  bufthis  man,  the  inward  work  was 
prized  in  hia  judgmeut ;  he  had  both  profession  and  some  auc- 
tion. And  was  he  now  enleretl  into  the  kingdom  of  God  ?  No. 
Here  was  hia  wound  ;  he  fell  short  of  it  some  degrees.  Hence 
it  is  said,  '*  Thou  art  not  far  from  the  kingdom  of  Giod."  So  the 
Israelites,  why  did  not  they  enter  ?  Was  not  the  land  good  ?  O, 
yea !  That  report  the  worst  of  the  apiea  brought.  But  their  . 
hearts  were  not  taken  with  the  goodness  of  it,  as  Caleb's  and 
Joshua's  were.  And  hence  they  were  shut  out.  Num.  xiii.  27, 
and  KIT.  7,  8,  24.  So  it  is  here.  So  an  unsound  heart  may  bo 
enlightened,  as  it  is  there,  Heb.  vi.  4,  5.  But  there  is  a  mar- 
velous light  which  they  never  have;  they  have  not  such  a  de- 
gree. 1  Pet.  ii.  9.  And  heuce,  (Deut.  mix,  Z-4,)  "The  Lord 
has  not  given  you  eyes  to  see  to  this  day."  Did  the  Lord  give 
them  no  eyes  to  see,  no  hearts  to  be  affected  with  what  they  did 
see  ?  Why  came  they,  then,  out  of  Egypt  ?  Why  did  they 
eing  when  they  saw  Pharaoh  drowned  ?  Why.  they  had  not 
such  eyes  and  ench  hearts  as  Moses  had,  not  unto  that  day. 

So  for  turning  to  the  Lord.  Do  not  many  unsound  hearts 
turn  over  a  now  leaf  ?  Do  they  not,  not  only  outwardly,  hut 
inwanlly  too  ?  Where  is  the  flaw,  then  ?  In  the  degree ;  (Jer. 
iii.  10,)  "  Judah  has  not  turned  with  her  whole  heart,  but  treaoh- 
erouflly."  So  there  may  he  some  growth  and  life  in  fabe,  nn- 
Fiound  hearts,  that  may  after  away ;  but  where  is  the  wound  ? 
Look  in  the  parable  of  the  seed ;  some  grew  not  at  all ;  some 
did  grow,  but  not  having  depth  of  earth,  fell  again.  Others  fell 
not  in  persecution,  but  there  were  the  roots  of  thorns  that  choked 
the  seed.  The  good  ground's  seed  came  to  ripeness  and  fullness 
of  fruit,  though  some  in  a  greater  degree  than  olhers  ;  yet  nono 
Bt  all  (no  ripe  fruit)  in  the  rest.  Hence  the  Lord  is  said  to 
"  weigh  the  heart."  Prov.  xvi.  2,  Men  Ihink  they  are  humbledj 
and  do  believe,  but  God  finds  them  too  light,  as  "  Belshazzsr'| 
was  weighed  and  found  too  light"  And  ihuB  it  will  be  » 
the  last  day,  when  Christ  Jesus  shall  appear,  that  all  the  ntoatl 
glorious  profession  of  many  a  man  is,  therefore,  rejected,  I 
found  too  light. 

in.  That  there  is  a  fiiUness  which  the  saints  have,  and  whi 
olhers  fall  short  of,  which  I  shall  show, — 

1,  Positively  and  alIinnatiT«ly  from  what  has  been  said,  (Pro 
xii.  26.)  "  The  righteous  is  more  eicellent ; "  (John  xiv.  ! " 
"  Whom  (he  world  can  not  receive,  because  it  knows  him  i 


i   TEN   1 


200  ■ 

aerate  man  knows,  I 
I,  he  doth  not  only  I 
It  he  dwells  there,  1 
I  death  is  "  to  our-  I 


There  ia  that  Spirit  in  sainta  whicli  no  unregcnerate  n 

hence  desires  not.     Because  he  dwells  in  you,  1 

send  wmo  gifts,  or  work  somewhat  there,  but 

he  tills  the  heart.     Hence  the  end  of  Cliriet's  death  ii 

chase  to  himself  a  peculiar  people,"  (TiL  ii.  14.)  of  s 

epirit,  such  a  holiness  that  only  ttemaelves  know.     So  it  is  that    y* 

which  all  the  prophets  press  to,  to  a  higher  pitch ;  and  hence    ^ 

that  tliarge  of  Joshua,  srii.  5.     And  it  is  a  pecuhar  fruit  of 

election,   (Eph.  i.  4,)  1.  To  be  holy  ;    2.  Before  him ;    3.    In     j 

2.  Negatively.     If  there  should  not  be  such  a  distinguishing    V 
fullness,  — 

1,  Then  the  whole  ministry  of  Christ  is  in  vain,  and  so  de-  \ 
stroye4 ;  for  what  is  the  end  of  that,  that  God  roiseth  up  any  i^ 
ministers  in  the  church,  hut  this,  (Acta  xxvi.  18.)  "to  turn  men 
from  darkness  to  light  ?"  If  tliiS  light  was  only  that  in  Heb.  vi. 
4,  then  the  end  of  the  ministry  was  to  work  hypocrisy.  "And 
from  the  power  of  Satan  to  God  ;  "  there  the  Lord  leaves  Ihem 
not,  "hut  that  they  may  receive  remission  of  sins,"  etc. 

'2.  If  there  should  not  be  tliis  fullness,  most  of  the  promises 
should  be  destroyed,  and  God'a  faithfiilness  fail,  and  the  saints  X 
Ite  deceived.  For  promises  are  made  to  them  that  mourn,  to 
them  that  hunger,  to  them  tliat  believe,  etc.  Now.  many  hypo- 
crites mourn  and  desire,  and  the  stony  ground  believed.  Then 
it  seems  the  promise  is  not  true.  Yes ;  and,  therefore,  there 
must  he  another  kind  of  mourning,  another  and  higher  degree 
of  the  Spirit  of  faith,  etc. ;  i.  e.,  sot  of  the  same  faith,  but  of 
another  kind  of  faith. 

3.  If  not,  then  all  Christians  endeavor  after  a  higher  measure 
of  grace  should  be  destroyed.  For  if  any  man  only  has  Christ 
in  his  eye,  that  he  may  have  him,  I  say  that  is  sweet ;  but  I  eay, 
you  shiJI  never  have  him,  unless  you  receive  him.  0,  but  many 
receive